Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sewing and Baking Night

I put in a another busy day at work, so now that I am home and had my supper I am ready to get busy into the fun stuff.. BAKING AND SEWING!!!!

I decided I want to bring in something fun into work for Halloween on Friday. I went to my local Bulk Barn a few weeks ago and found the cutest Jack-o-Lantern cake pan. Right now the smell of my decadent chocolate cake baking in the oven is sending me on a drift of chocolate ooey gooey goodness!!! Once it is cooled completely, I will ice it with orange icing for the pumpkin, yellow icing for the eyes nose and mouth. I also found some cute edible green flakes from Wilton to decorate the stem of the pumpkin cake. I will definetely take a photo before the crew from work make justice of it!!! I love trying new things when it comes to baking and down the road I think I would like to do some cake decorating courses... I realize between my sewing, playing in the kitchen, reading, I just don't seem to have enough things to do LOL Yeah RIGHT!

Tonight I will get back to hand stitching binding around another two tree skirts. I also mentioned last night that I was stippling around my Christmas Mystery Table Runner. Well all the stippling and quilting is done, so I will get the binding ready and sewn. After that I think I will put the sewing machine away and spend the night hand binding.

Ooh I also mentioned some time ago that I would post photos of my crumb blocks. Well so far I have 60 6-inch square blocks. I am now in the process of making a pile of 3-inch crumbs to use as one of the borders. I will work on those tomorrow night during my Thursday night sewing group.

So here are the blocks :)

I am having so much fun making these blocks. They are actually addictive! I have piles and piles of scrap fabrics and now my students are even donating pieces they consider too small for them to keep. Once I finish this quilt, I want to try another scrap quilt using small pieces. My friends think I am nuts... but I consider that a compliment :) Especially once I see the final results of all my small pieces in a quilt!

oooh now that I think of it, I have some photos to share with you from my Monday night quilting class. My students starting machine quilting their quilts this week. Their quilts are just gorgeous!

Here is Janice. The photo doesn't do this quilt justice. She used a gorgeous Christmas print with a black background. Her quilt has so much rich texture.

Joan used a beautiful Terra Cotta suede look sashing to compliment her blocks.

This is Maxine's first time making a quilt. She was a bit nervous in the beginning, but she really did a fantastic job with her quilt. I'm sure we will be seeing many more beautiful quilts from this woman! Here she is in deep concentration making sure all her quilting is pucker free :)

Debbie is a bit camera shy, so I showed her hands working away on her beautiful quilt. Her fabric was a very interesting mottled and busy print, but she did a fine job with her blocks and getting the different designs. She was having some trouble with her sewing machine. She never used a quilting foot before, and for some weird reason, the foot kept loosenig her needle screw. Every so often she would have to stop her quilting and tighten the screw again. She said she has an interest in hand quilting, so I will show her that next week. At least the needle won't loosen with each stitch!

Here is Beverley's beautiful quilt. I just love how she brought out the tiny hints of red in her blocks with her block borders. The beige sashing really brought the whole quilt together.

The course will be over in about 2 weeks time. I will be getting a group photo of them to post to my blog.

Well its time to take my cake out of the oven and get cracking on my sewing for the night. I want to have myself another productive evening.

Quiltingly Yours

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Productive Couple of Days

I have been working away like a mad woman the last few days getting more of my Christmas tree skirts completed. On Sunday, Mum and I worked away on our projects during the afternoon. I managed to quilt up and bind another tree skirt, and stitched the buttons on about 4 tree skirts. Tonight I quilted and machine binded another skirt. I think I have about 3 more skirts to layer and quilt and those will be over.

For a change of pace, I have decided to get back to my Mystery Table Runner I made a couple weeks ago. Tonight I started layering and quilting. I decided to stipple it. I am taking a short break right now to relax my back as it is hurting a bit from being hunched over. I plan to complete the quilting before the end of tonight. I hope to post photos very soon.. So stay tuned.

I will write more tomorrow.

Quiltingly Yours

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sewing Day Sunday

I just love Sundays. One of my favourite things to do to start my Sunday is before I even crawl out of bed. When I wake up I love to sit up and spend some quality time with my book. I just started a new book this morning. It is called "Julie and Julia My Year of Cooking Dangerously", by Julie Powell. I only have Chapter 1 read and already I'm in stitches from laughing. Me thinks this is going to be a great book! This is one of the many books I purchased the day Mum and I took a day this summer searching out all the Used Book Stores.

This has been a beautiful Fall weekend here in St. John's. Although I haven't stepped outside yet to see how cold it is out, if its like yesterday, it will be a nice sunny beautiful crisp Fall Day. I just love those kinds of days. I haven't had a chance to take any photos of Autumn this year, but I would like to show you some photos I took when Trevor and I drove across the island this time last year to Gros Morne National Park. He has an Aunt and Uncle from Corner Brook that has this sweet little summer cabin just on the border of the National Park in Wiltondale.

I just love this photo. It was a very cozy little cabin in the woods. The wood stove was on all day and all night. We loved it most at night when we would relax with a glass or two of wineafter a long day of hiking in the park. We would sit for hours by that wood stove chatting with his relatives and playing Scrabble!

This little cabin was along the shore of a beautiful lake. It was so quiet and calming there. We had hoped to go back this Fall, but other things came up so we couldn't go. Hopefully next year.

Trevor and I are huge fans of hiking. We took a 15K hike one day and at the end of the hike we found this spectacular view of the ocean!

My sweetie!!!

Nope this photo was not photo shoped!!! We did nothing fancy with the camera to get this shot of me. Guess the lighting did all the work. But it does have that look of an advertisement doesn't it LOL. The spray from the waves crashing on the shore would rise up the hills behind us. It was an amazing day.

I couldn't help myself!! The stump of wood was just sitting there on the beach, I just HAD to do my Karate Kid moves!!!

Here is another shot of the two of us at the Tablelands! That is an awesome site to hike into the valley and up into the Tablelands itself. Years ago I hiked and climbed to the top of the Tablelands and the view around was amazing! This time we only went halfway to one of the many waterfalls.

And here we are again at the base of the Tablelands.

At the end of a great day of hiking and exploring, as I mentioned above we would lie off on the couch in the cabin with a glass of wine and just relax and look back with great memories of a great trip!

ooh and then when it was time for bed, curl up under a pile of quilts, with the famous Newfoundland Quilt on top and drift off to sleep. Each block represents something that is well known here in Newfoundland. The sashing is made from our Newfoundland Tartan.

One of these days I might try my hand at making one of these quilts. They are very popular with people here as gifts to send to family away.

Speaking of quilting and sewing. Today will be a day of sewing. Since Trevor is working all day today, I will head down to Mum's place for the afternoon and supper and spend the day with her sewing and quilting. She is working on a Christmas tree skirt herself. I think I will layer and quilt the mystery table runner I was working on a couple weeks ago. I think I might also get a couple more tree skirts quilted as they are ready for the quilting stage. I have maybe 5 more skirts to complete. I will be dropping off the tree skirt I am donating at work to put up on tickets to help raise money for Christmas hampers for some of our low income families we have as tenants. I work with the government providing housing services to low income families. Each department adopts a family and we get Christmas gifts and other Christmasy things for them.

I wish you a happy sewing and quilting day this Sunday afternoon!

Quiltingly Yours

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Going Crazy in Patches!

This morning I taught another class of my Crazy Patch class. This week they are learning how to sew on their borders. They were busy working away cutting up their border fabrics and getting them ready for sewing.

Susan here is cutting up her inner and outer borders. She is going to have a beautiful quilt when it is completed. I managed to get a little piece of her quilt blocks with the sashings on them before she started sewing her borders on. I love how she used the white fabric for her sashings. It really brought out the vibrant colours in her blocks and the beautiful satin stitching she did around each fabric piece.

Some of my girls were still working along on machine embroidering all the pieces in each block as you can see here with Joanne, who has her head down in deep concentration while she works on her purple quilt. She is using a gorgeous deep shade of purple metallic for all her satin stitching.

Here Glenda I believe has her embroidery work done, but cleaning up extra threads. Her next step is cutting up her sashings and sashing squares and sewing them together into her quilt top.

Marshas has her quilt top completed and decided to start basting her quilt together. She did a great job!

I hope to take some photos of my Monday night class this week. They too are making some amazing quilts!!!

Tomorrow I plan to take the day and sew a few more crumb blocks for my quilt. I will remember to take photos of them tomorrow and post them later the week. Stay tuned!!

Quiltingly Yours

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And the Throbbing Continues

So I'm home again for a second day doped up on pain killers getting over of the pain of two pulled wisdom teeth. A very good friend of mine is a dental hygenist. She called me today to see how I was doing. She said by now I shouldn't have this much pain and I should look in to seeing my dentist again. She mentioned I could have dry sockets. Seems when you get these the blood doesn't clot and you can have problems with the bone up in the holes. I get shivers just thinking about it! So far I have been living on maple porridge, hot chocolate, and scrambled eggs. Last night I attempted hash browns with some fresh mushrooms. I figured I could moosh those in my mouth without chewing and hopefully nothing would get caught up in the holes.. Sigh... sadly mistaken. Seems something got up there anyway and oooh how it hurt. I swooshed my mouth several times with water. I'm not sure if it ever came out. Still in pain and the holes still feel like huge craters in my mouth. Tonight for supper I will attempt plain ole rotini pasta with a plain tomato alfredo sauce from a jar. No food made from scratch tonight. Sigh.. this has been torture for me the last couple of days, cause I LOVE food!!!!

Anyway, to keep my mind off my teeth, or lack thereof, I managed to finish reading my book yesterday evening. Today, I took up my Grandmother's Garden blocks hoping it will keep my mind off the pain. So far not too bad. I finally managed to get a better photo too. I realized that I can force my camera to use the flash to get a better picture. I bought this beautiful Cannon S3 IS camera about a year and a half ago, and I am still learning to use alot of the features. I still have much to learn. Anyway, here is one of the 5 blocks I have made so far. I am working on #6 this afternoon.

Tonight we have our weekly sewing/quilting social night down to Mum's place. I will probably work on these blocks a bit more and I hope to take what Christmas Tree Skirts I have binded and get the buttons on them. Those will be my two jobs tonight.

I also think over the weekend I might sit down to my laptop, set up my EQ6 and start to draft out my Crumb Quilt I have been working on and off with since March. I would love to get the thoughts in my head on the drafting board and see something more visual. I bought this software back in the Winter and have played a little with it. I still have much to learn with it. I haven't touched it for a few months now, so I think its time to get the dust off it and really get cracking. I want to start drafting up a new design to teach next year too. Ohh that reminds me. I promised my students in my Saturday morning and Monday night classes that I will bring along the quilts I'll be teaching in January. I will take them out this weekend.

You will notice I added a few more little things to my blog yesterday. I thought I would spend an hour or two yesterday hunting around for other quilting blogs out there. I went to the Quilting Bloggers page, (please see the logo link on the right side bar). There you can choose any country and you will find blogs related to quilting from that country. I found some amazing and talented quilters and decided to share their links with you! I plan to do more blog surfing. Its amazing how inspired you become when looking at other fellow quilters and their beautiful creations! I highly recommend anyone to blog surf!!!

Quiltingly Yours

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two holes in my head

Well... last night I had my two upper wisdom teeth removed and now I have two HUGE (well that's how if feels) holes in my head. The pain is incredible but thanks to the technology of drugs, the pain is a little bearable. I must say though, when the pills wear off I can hit the ceiling! I never realized just how big those wisdom teeth were until they were pulled out of my head and on the tray. They are HUGE!!! I have decided to take today off work and just rest. If I feel up to it I might do a little bit of hand sewing on a little project I started back in September. I am making a Grandmother's Garden quilt all by hand. I will be making 25 blocks in total. Once those are all sewn together I want to make a border of hand appliqued flowers and vines... yep all by hand!! I'm nuts I know! But I like the challenge. I don't care how long it takes me as there is no rush for it as the finished quilt will be mine. Here are the fabrics I am using:

Friends of mine figured when making this quilt I will need some important tools to get me through... A glass (or two or three or....) of wine and chocolate considering I have a lot of templates to cut out, fabric to cut and lots of hand stitching!!!

I have about 5 of my blocks made now. I tried taking a few photos of one of them a moment ago, but the lighting wasn't very good. I'll try again soon.

Speaking of photos, I meant to take my camera with me Monday night to class and I forgot it. I am kicking myself since. Four women had their quilts laid out on three 6 foot banquet tables each layering their quilts and I have to say what an amazing job they did! We spent the evening layering and basting their quilts for machine quilting. We still have a few more quilts to be layered next week, so I will remember to take my camera.

Well I think I am going to go lie down again, my mouth is throbbing and with so many pain killers in me right now I actually have this 'stupid' feeling come over me. I will probably camp out on the couch today under a quilt, watch a few movies, read a bit and if I can I will work a bit more on my Grandmother's Garden quilt.

Quiltingly Yours

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

The weekends go by too fast. It feels like only yesterday it was Friday and I was looking forward to the weekend. And now here it is Sunday afternoon. It was a nice weekend all the same. I spent some quality Mum and Daughter time Friday night as we spent a couple hours shopping. I came home with a new pair of black casual shoes, a nice red purse ("Every woman should have at least ONE hot red purse in their wardrobe", say my lovely Mum... yah gotta love her!) I also picked up a nice Fall mustard yellow hoodie dress sweater and a couple of little stocking stuffers. Saturday morning I taught my crazy patch class. They are doing so good with their quilts. This class we started making the sashing and sashing squares to sew around their blocks. I hope in a couple weeks to have some photos posted of their quilts while they are being layered for quilting. Next week they will add the borders, the week after that they will start the layering process.

Last night we met up with Trevor's good buddy Jody and his 11 year old son Nick. The four of us went to Klondike Jakes for a bite to eat then took Nick to the Harbour Haunt. This is a local fun haunted house that Easter Seals puts off every October as one of their fundraisers. We weren't sure if Nick would be up for it as it can be a bit scary and disturbing for an 11 year old mind. Hey I'm 36 and there were a few things that freaked me out too!!! So after spending an hour in the line up to get into the haunt we were guided through the black fabric maze with our guide. You would come up to different rooms where there would be freakish scenarios happening. Some of these rooms came out of some of my childhood nightmares!!! For example, as a child I watched Poltergeist at too young of an age. Do you remember that scary scene when the kids are in their beds and there is a lightening storm outside. There is this creepy looking clown doll at the end of their beds. It is there one minute, the next it has disappeared and is now hiding under the bed ready to take one of the children and drag them into the closet. Well I remember my Dad won a big clown doll for me one year at the Summer Regatta here in St. John's. This clown sat in a chair on the other side of the room watching me with his little grin from my bed every night. After watching that movie, I was scared to DEATH of that clown. So scared I had to take the clown and put it in the basement. I would check under my bed every night to be sure the clown didn't come upstairs!!! Well last night that clown was larger than life coming out of this HUGE freaky painted closet and came right up in my face laughing like a mad man!!!! Ooh how I screamed when he burst out of that closet!! And then I laughed so hard!! Even Nick laughed at me!!!

My favourite scene of last night's haunted maze was toward the end when we were going through a small area where it looked like dead bodies hanging over the edges of half broken doors. They were so lifeless!! Trevor turns to me and says "ooh that not a real person". He then pokes the body on the head! Next thing Trevor jumps "ooh my gawd!!!! it is a real person"! Which at that point this so called dead body jumps up and scares the daylights out of Trevor! oooh how I laughed so hard my stomach hurt!!!!!!!!!! Ahh but it was a good time and the money was for a great cause. And hey its good to have a little scare every now and then! :)

Today, it has so far been a very quiet and lazy day. I spent the morning just relaxing after a breakfast of quiche, toast and coffee. I read my book for a bit and lazed around. It is now after 2 and now I want to get back into some productivity. I put out some of the tree skirts I have completed, or still need binding and quilting on the table so you can see what I have been talking about lately with all these skirts.

I also plan to make up a couple batches of cookies. I will make up some chocolate chips cookies then I want to try out a new recipe of Pumpkin Squares. I picked up all the ingredients this morning and I am now anxious to get working on them.

I hope you are all having a good relaxing or productive sewing/quilting/baking/family time weekend too!!!

Quiltingly Yours

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cooler Days Are Here

The days are getting cooler and closing in faster with each passing day. It is hardly 6:30pm here and the night is just around the corner. One good thing about the nights closing in is you get cozy under your quilts while watching a movie or tv or reading your favourite book.

I guess that is another one of my many passions. I love to read. I have soooo many books in my bookshelf and still I love to have more. My Mum is also a big fan of reading and I suppose I have to thank her for this wonderful love of books. She stayed off work from the time I was born until my first day of school when I was 5 years old. I can remember very clearly how every week the two of us would go to the local library to choose our favourite books. I remember my very first library card and we would pick out 5 new books every week. Each night before she tucked me in bed, we would sit together on my bed and she would read stories such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, The Trumpet and the Swan, Stuart Little, Curious George and so many more. I grew up with books around me all the time so I guess it doesn't surprise me how that love of reading kept with me.

This past summer, Mum and I decided to spend a day shopping around to all the used bookstores. Oooh what books we both bought! By the end of the day we got into 8 different stores and we brought home about a dozen books each. I think it cost us roughly $40 each for our books.

So tonight I will tackle some more of my list from the thread I posted last week. I plan to sew the last step to the Mystery Table Runner, layer and quilt up another 1 or 2 tree skirts, and I might get a start on my lesson plan for my Crazy Patch quilt class this coming Saturday morning. I will take along my camera this weekend as by now the girls should have all their machine embroidery work done. These quilts are going to look gorgeous!

Oooh remember I told you sometime ago how I was involved in a Halloween doll swap through the online quilting group I'm involved with? Well my two little darlings arrived last week and they are the cutest! Thank you again to Skeat and "All4Quilt for the cute Halloween dolls I received. They are now on display out in the living room over the fireplace!!

Here is a photo of the two dolls I made and sent. They are not near as detailed as the two I received, but then this was my first attempt at making dolls and doll clothes. But saying that, I think I did an okay job :) Its not very clear in the photo, but they are both holding on to their little scaredy cats. :)

Well that's all for now. The sewing isn't going to get done on its own. I have a few supper dishes to clean up then I have the rest of the night to devote to my sewing. And if I'm real lucky I'll get in a little bit of reading time before bed!

Quiltingly Yours

Monday, October 13, 2008

Enjoying The Long Thanksgiving Weekend

I have to say I am enjoying this long weekend. I am sure many of you, of my Canadian friends that is, may have had their big Thanksgiving Turkey dinner already. We are having ours today. Actually Trevor and I are heading to my Mum's place this evening for the big dinner... mmmm I can smell that turkey baking now and Mum's dressing is the BOMB!!! ooh and of course I can't forget to mention the salt beef too. Hey I'm from Newfoundland, what would you expect!!! Gotta have that touch of Newfoundland cuisine in the Thanksgiving dinner too. I should have picked up some Turnip greens at Bidgoods grocery store this weekend to go with dinner.. ooh well.. I'll have to treat myself to some of those soon for another dinner down the road.

So as I mentioned in my last thread, I did a little more experimenting in the kitchen over the weekend. I made Trevor Coconut Curry Butternut Squash soup and a Partridge Berry Steamed Pudding Cake with a Brown Sugar Sacue. It was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! I never had butternut squash before and I have to say I am now an instant lover of it!

So for those of you who are curious and would like to give it a shot, I am going to post the recipes. Again I got them from the Downhome Magazine. That is a local magazine here in Newfoundland. They have some beautiful recipes and other great stories of local people and communities.

Bon Appetite!!

Coconut-Curry Butternut Squash Soup

1 3lb squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Thai yellow curry paste (available in 100g tins or 500ml plastic tubs in Asian markets or in the Asian section of the supermarket. If not available, use 2 tsp curry powder for a similar flavour)
1 can coconut milk
1 small ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp Lady of the Woods birch-sap wine (made here in Newfoundland, and available in local liquour stores. If this is not available, then 2 Tbsp of white wine will work too. That's what I used. The Lady of Woods sounds very nice and fruity but decided against it this time)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (water will do - if using canned stock, omit salt)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp each of oil and butter

Heat oil and butter in deep saucepot: add onions, squash and thyme. Cook, stirring until it all starts to caramelize (3-4 minutes). Add garlic and saute anotehr minute or two. Add curry paste and stir a coupe minutes more. Add the wine and let reduce a minute, then add the coconut milk. Add the salt and pepper. Let reduce a few minutes. Add stock and the banana adn boil until squash is soft. Puree soup in the pot with stick blender (or transfer to a regular blender or food processor). For a velvety consistency, strain througha medium sieve. Taste and adjust with salt or pepper. Garnish with some toasted coconut or a dollop of sour cream.

Steamed Partridgeberry Pudding

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups partridgeberries
3/4 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Add berries, then milk, stirring lightly to make a batter. Pour into a greased one-quart mould. Place over boiling water and steam 2 hours or until done.

1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp butter

Combine sugar, flour and water and boil until thickened. Remove from heat and add the butter. Serve warm over slices of pudding.


On the quilty side of things, I have one more Christmas tree skirt finished. Last night I layered and quilted another one while watching a couple movies. I machine binded that one this morning and will get to the hand binding this evening. I hope to get another two tree skirts layered by mid week.

Til next time!!!!

Quiltingly Yours

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my Canadian friends here!!!

I have so many things to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, a fantastic boyfriend, amazing friends (both here where I live and online), good health, a job I love, and so much more! I am thankful to all my quilting friends who inspire me every day with their amazing creations. To my students, I am thankful to know you all and have the opportunity to introduce you to the wonderful world of quilting. Over the 12 years I have been teaching quilting I have seen so many amazing quilts and have been able to make addicted quilters out of many of you!

I haven't had much opportunity to spend much time here on the Internet. Between work being crazy and busy and then getting home and working on my sewing and cooking experiments, or just crashing on the couch or bed for a cat nap or to read my book, I have been behind on my blog updates and for that I apologize. But then life is like that isn't it?

So of the list I created in my last blog, I am happy to report I have made a little dent. I hemmed the two pairs of jeans, completed the next step to the mystery table runner ,completed the hand binding on the Christmas table runner(photos coming soon), and wrote up the fabric requirements for my next classes starting in November. Ohh I also made 23 more crumb blocks for my next scrappy quilt I am designing in my head!!! I now have 60 finished crumb blocks!!

NOTE TO MY STUDENTS: The Fabric Requirements for the Christmas Tree Skirt and the Table Runner classes are now available at the H.G.R. Mews Centre for those of you that have registered for these courses. I am also posting a photo of the finished Table Runner here.

I also have one more Christmas tree skirt binding completed and going to California in a couple weeks time. I will start the hand binding on the next one by tomorrow night.

Tonight I decided to experiment in the kitchen again. I thought I would make one of Trevor's favourite soups. I have never made homemade soups before, so I thought no time like the present. I found a recipe for a Curry Coconut Butternut Squash soup in the local "Downhome" magazine. This month's magazine has some really yummy recipes I want to try. I also made the Partridge Berry Steamed Pudding from that same magazine. I will have this meal for supper tomorrow night. Trevor has no idea yet that I made this meal for him. As he is working overnight shifts this weekend, I thought I would make it while he was working :) Sneaky girl aren't I ??? I had never tasted butternut squash let alone cooked with it. When I did a taste test of the finished soup, I was ready to eat the whole pot of soup! It was delicious! Tomorrow night I will take some photos of my soup and pudding cake and post the recipes for those of you who would to give it a try and don't have access to this magazine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sewin' Up a Storm

I have big plans to be sewin' up a storm tonight! Trevor is at work for another few hours and I have all my projects lined up to work on. I plan to have a good productive night tonight!

This morning I had to take Mum to an appointment. While she at that, I headed to the nearest A&W for a little breakfast and my morning cuppa java. While I sat back sipping my coffee, I took out the little red notebook I carry in my purse every where I go. I started a list of things I want to complete in the next week. So here is what I came up with

  • hem the two pairs of new jeans I bought last week. (already cut and serged)
  • hem the pair of grey dress pants for work (still need to cut, serge and hem)
  • hand bind 2 Christmas tree skirts
  • layer and quilt 2 more Christmas tree skirts
  • machine sew binding on the Christmas Table runner I'm teaching next month
  • Start next step on the mystery table runner I am doing. New step came out this morning
  • Start another Christmas gift. (can't say who they are for in case they are reading my post) :)
  • Write up the Fabric Requirements lists for my students for the tree skirt and table runner classes. My due date to complete this is Wednesday night. hmmm better get that table runner binded tonight!!
How is everyone else out there doing with their projects? How many of you make your Christmas gifts? How early do you start? I have learned the hard way, the earlier the better! I refuse to complete a gift 7pm Christmas Eve night only to be wrapped up, and presented that night and opened before Midnight Mass!!! This year I actually started making gifts in July!! Yep you read right.. JULY!! Hey I'm sure there are some of you that started even earlier again!!!

Well looking at the list I better get going and get to the sewing machine. I have alot of work ahead of me! :) I wonder how far I will get tonight on these steps?

Quiltingly Yours

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Playing in the Kitchen Today

So I taught my Crazy Patch class this morning and I must say everyone is doing so well!!! Today they started to experiment with all the fancy decorative stitches that are on their sewing machines that they have never used before. I love to teach projects where my students get to try something they never used before on their machine. Some of these people have very beautiful high end machines that have alot of STUFF they have never used, or afraid to move. Many others have your basic straight/zig zag stitch, but have never played with the lengths and widths very much.

I remember last year I taught a Trapunto Table Runner. The majority of that class was having to drop their feed dogs and just do free motion embroidery. It took a bit of time to get the hang of it, but in the end they produced amazing results! One of those students became a very good friend of mine and has joined our Thursday night quilting group. She is now in the process of making two more trapunto runners in a different design for Christmas gifts. In the new year we both plan to each make a full size trapunto quilt. That is going to be alot of free motion embroidery. Trapunto is a great way to use up all those extra pieces of batting we cut off from our quilts once all the quilting is done and we start the binding. I have a large Rubber Maid tub full of batting scraps!

So I didn't do much sewing of my own today, although once my girls were settled in on their next step with their crazy patch blocks, I took out the Christmas tree table runner I will be teaching next year and started working on that. I almost have the runner top done. I am hoping by tomorrow to have the top completed and hopefully layered.

When I came home from class it was too late to set up my machine and all the stuff that goes with it (as for the moment I sew on the dining room table) as Trevor and I were having our friend Jody and his son Nicholas over for supper. I had to take a run to the grocery store to pick up my ingredients, come home grab some lunch, rest for a bit by writing out a few more recipes from my Aunt's huge recipe book. I have soooooo many recipes to try out!!! So tonight I put on a pan of my lasagne! I am not a big fan of lasagne, but I looooooooooooooooooove to make it!!! Both Trevor and my Mum love my lasagne, so I made a pan for tonight for us for supper. Next month I will make it again for my Mum. The pan I make serves alot and so there is lots left over to cut up and freeze for future quick meals. I also made up this pan of lasagne as I am trying to cook up some casseroles and such for the freezer for quick meals when Trevor and I are on the run after work for other activities.

So I thought I would post this recipe should anyone have the interest in making it themselves. This recipe is very easy to put together and the prep work takes about 20-30 minutes. Cook time is 40-50 minutes. So without further ado......

My Favourite Lasagne Recipe
from the book "365 Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Dinner Menus" by Penny E. Stone

12 lasagne noodles
2 lbs of lean ground beef or turkey (I have always used beef)
1 jar (32-40oz) spaghetti sauce
1 jar or can of pizza sauce (If I don't have that on hand, I will put a tomato paste in)
4 cups ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tsp Basil (I love to use my Epicure Marinara herb spice here)
1 Tsp salt (I don't add this, as I try to eliminate salt whereever I can in our diets)
2 Tsp Oregano
1/4 Tsp Pepper

Brown teh meat and drain off fat. Add thh spagetti and pizza sauces (I also like to add in a chopped onion to the meat), salt and pepper. Set aside. Cook lasagne noodels according to package directions. Set aside. Mix together ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, and herbs. In the bottom of a 13x9 pan, lay down a layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Cover with a 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Cover with another layer of noodles. Cover with a 1/3 of the meat sauce and the rest of the cheese mixture. Cover with another layer of lasagne noodles. Cover with remaining meat mixture. Top with remaining shredded cheeses. Bake at 350º for 40-50 minutes.

Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread


So on that note, I have a few more dishes to clean up before our guests arrive in half an hour!

Quiltingly Yours

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Eve of a Long Weekend

I decided to take Friday off to have a nice relaxing long weekend. I had a busy work week and with Trevor off this weekend I wanted to spend some time with him. I have a few plans for the weekend including sewing/quilting, of course; teaching Saturday morning, and perhaps making a pan of my homemade lasagne.

I am not a big fan of eating lasagne, but I do love to make it. Trevor loves it and I want to make him something nice this weekend. I am slowly trying to add some other casseroles and other things to the freezer so we have something to take out quickly when we are on the go during the week, or if I am just too darn lazy to get into anything too intense.

The weekend forecast is calling for sunny warm weather. I would like to get out on the patio to clean up the flower boxes and get them ready to put away for the winter months... I know I know.. I said the "W" word... but it will be upon us sooner than we want. This year is my first year growing sunflowers. I started them a month too late,so they have been a long time growing, BUT I have two buds now and one of them opened yesterday. The yellow petals are starting to open out. I am hoping before the end of the weekend that the flower will be in full bloom and I will take a photo of it! I love sunflowers. They always seem to bring a smile to my face.

Well it's a late one here again tonight, so I am off to bed with visions of quilty designs dancing in my head!!

Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As Promised!!

So as I promised earlier this evening, here are the photos of the two sets of blocks I made for the Christmas table runner mystery.

I also thought I would play around with the blocks and put them into a big block of 4 to see how it would look. I wonder if this is what we will get at the end of the mystery.. hmmmmm.. I do like this block and if it's not the end result, it is just another excuse to make another quilt!!!!


Mauzy Days

I can't believe how warm it has been here the last few days. Although it is overcast and we have had a bit of fog, it is really warm and somewhat sticky! I went to work this morning wearing my black Fall coat as it was drizzley rain and fog, but it was warm. This afternoon when I left the office for the day, I decided to walk down to the shopping mall down from my office and the sun was out in one end of the city and foggy in the other. Needless to say I didn't wear the coat on such a nice day.

No trouble to know it was Pay Day. I decided to treat myself to a couple of new dressy jeans (that need hemming.. and oooooooooooh how I hate hemming), and a new blue casual top.

When I came home, I decided to get back to my sewing again. I put supper in the oven and decided on what to work on tonight. I mentioned some time ago how I am doing another mystery online, well this one is a table runner. I posted a photo of my fabric choices. Well I worked on that runner til about 11:00 last night. I should be up to date with the instructions in another hour time. I am soooo enjoying this runner and don't think I can wait til next Tuesday for the next step!!! I will post the photos of what I have done later this evening.

I am also planning to start cutting out the Christmas table runner I plan to teach in November. I heard the dryer go off a few moments ago, so the last of my fabrics are washed and dried and ready to be cut!

Tomorrow night is the sewing group down to Mum's place. I think I will get back to working on my crumb quilt. I still have many crumb blocks to make before assembling them into some kind of design. My students have seen me making these blocks last week, and they too are getting in on the fun by donating to me their little extra pieces they have no interest in keeping.. THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! I also know a couple of you are keeping your little pieces as it seems I have inspired you to make one of these quilts for yourself. One gal is going to make one using Christmas prints.. hmmmmmmmmmmm you got me thinking now that I would like to make one with those prints too!! ooh there is just not enough hours in a day to get in all the things I want to create!!!!

Quiltingly Yours