Monday, November 24, 2008

Productive week

My goal to finish three quilts last week didn't quite happen, but they are all quilted, one is finished (New Jersey mystery quilt), and the tree landscape is done except for hand stitching down the binding. Yes, they aren't all that big, but done is good. Hopefully Starlight Serenade will get along on its binding tonight. Pictures soon.
Then I finished the 6' plus scarf for my DD (Christmas gift), freeing up those needles for another scarf for me. Meanwhile I started using the black Fun Fur along with Caron's Simply Soft in black for another scarf for me. This one is just knit (garter stitch), nothing fancy. The yarn would hide anything anyway. Using circular size 11 needles, so it should go pretty fast.
Last night I googled knitting needle holders because I want to make one. They don't look that hard, but seeing them helped me with some design issues.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nancy Lee Chong Hawaiian applique class

I had a great day today, day off work and got to listen and learn from Nancy Chong. I just wish the class was longer, we didn’t get as much hands-on time as I would have liked. The class covered prepping a Hawaiian quilt (I just did a pillow size), needleturn appliqué (which we didn’t get enough of) and then for those who stayed late, designing a border for a Hawaiian quilt, specifically a wall size, but really would also work for a bed size too.

Her needle turn technique is a bit different than I have been doing, and there seems to be less stress on my hand, a good thing. We practiced on a “blob” that has all of the basic shapes you need to master to do any appliqué shape, straight, hills, valleys (including the very deep and shallow ones you get a lot in Hawaiian appliqué), concave and convex curves). I got her DVD so I can refresh my memory of her techniques after Thanksgiving.

When I got home I finished basting the hibiscus pillow appliqué, but what I really want to do is a wallhanging (her Woodland Lei pattern, see That was too involved to prep during class, so I didn’t even try to do it. But I did fold the fabric, so I can lay it out now at home before I forget. Once I get it basted I think I will do the pillow first, then do the wallhanging. The pillow is really going to part of a six block quilt, at least that is the current plan. Been planning to do it for a while, just haven’t gotten around to it .

After I got home, I quilted the New Jersey mystery quilt, and am currently quilting my Starlight Serenade, a small wall quilt I hand pieced while on business trips to Colorado Springs about 10+ years ago. Finally got a border on them (after deciding that the applique border was NOT going to happen), and now it is basted and I am quilting it (Yeah!, another UFO biting the dust).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SBS Bow I-9, and more quarter square blocks

I seem to be innundated with quarter square triangle (QST) blocks this week. The mystery quilt was all QSTs, and this week's BOW was Yankee Puzzle, made up of 4 QSTs. Yankee Puzzle was a piece of cake after making over 90 QSTs for the mystery Quilt. And seven of ten rows of the mystery quilt are stitched together. Taking a short break.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday I will be going to the SCVQA meeting and class. Nancy Chong is the guest teacher/lecturer, and I have been a fan of her Hawaiian quilt patterns for a while. Since I am still quilting my Silversword, I hadn't started another one, although I have fabric for a few wall hangings. I went out today to get thread, and ended up getting backing for the current (almost pieced) mystery quilt, and fabric for the next mystery quilt. Need to wash fabric now, including some I had gotten for Hawaiian quilts, but never washed.
I made Vegetable Chicken soup with Orzo for dinner, along with rolls. In a splash of olive oil I sauteed chopped onions. minced garlic, chopped carrots, a green pepper, stalk of celery, and two small diced eggplants (all except onion from the farm share). I added a box of low sodium chicken broth and a couple handfulls of orzo (after it started to boil), cooked nine minutes, then added diced, cooked chicken and heated through. Yummy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Farm share chili

Last night I made chili using mostly Farm share food. I had roasted some poblano or anaheim chilis earlier and had them sitting in the refrigerator. Since today is vegie pick up day, yesterday was clean out the frig day .

I adapted a recipe that we got in the CSA newsletter. Chopped one large red onion, and minced several cloves of garlic, sauteed in a bit of olive oil. When partially cooked, added a bit more than half a pound of lean ground turkey and browned it. Chopped up all of the tomatoes I had (without peeling them) and added to pot. Chopped the chilis I had and added to pot. Ground some cumin and added to pot. Rinsed a can of kidney beans and added to pot. Let simmer.
Meanwhile, I made corn bread and grated some cheese to put on top of the chili. Everyone enjoyed it, although it didn't have that "chili" taste since I didn't add any red chili powder. You could, but I forgot. I also forgot to add chopped cilantro at the end, ah well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PIQF and Knitting

I've been busy, but not blogging. First off, the Pacific International Quilt Festival, aka PIQF, I went for four days and took four classes. Consequently I did not spend a lot of time on the show floor. I did see some fabulous quilts, and spent a bit of money (mostly thread) and used the thread in several classes. I took two from Marjan Klupfel, did some thread painting in one (the tree is free hand), and used Angelina in another (the wings), and some of the precious SkyDyes I have been hoarding for a few years. I want to to get the dragonfly quilt done and put it in the bathroom. I picked the fabrics to go with the tile. Now that I have finished a couple of weekends of quilting away from home, my sewing room is a disaster. Things got pulled out and then more stuff and more stuff. I need to spend some time putting away.
But, meanwhile, I have been knitting. It is easier to sit in my Laziboy and knit than clean up the sewing room. I knit a scarf for one daughter and am working on another one for the other daughter. I have been knitting on my shawl, and I made a mini sock in preparation for making socks with Opal yarn designed with Harry Potter characters in mind. Now I am obsessed with making socks. Of course, I have only made the mini one so far, and a few rows of a dark gray practice pair of socks, but I have been cruising the internet looking at sock yarn. It is fabulous. But I need to finish the projects I have started before starting any more. I don't want to end up with as many knitting UFOs as I have quilt UFOs.
Speaking of quilt UFOs, I have another one. I went to a mystery quilt get together on Sunday, and came home with a partially completed set of blocks, lots of quarter square triangles. I think it will be a nice patriotic lap quilt when done.
A friend lent me her swifter and ball winder, so I have been winding yarn tonight, including the last of the shawl yarn, and some Commotion by Classic Elite Yarn I have had for a few years. It was also for a shawl, and is very close in color to the other one I am making. So, do I need two very similar to each other? Probably not, so what can I do with this yarn instead? No idea, it is a boucle yarn, not really a sweater or clothing yarn. So, don't know. I will wind it, and let it rest a bit.