Friday, August 28, 2009

Next goal done - Table Runner

Number 4 on my list of things to do was to finish my HST table runner. Originally this was for a how to make half square triangles (lots of them) accurately using a method I have seen a couple of places, but involves cutting strips on the bias, seaming them together, pressing them and then cutting squares. This helps to get rid of the distortion (I get) when pressing the squares open after cutting them. Since this was a sample, I decided to use some fabric I had purchased a while back (~8 years I think) for placemats. This was a table runner that would go with placemats, after all. Now I just need to make the placemats and napkins (right...) Anyway, at the beginning of the month I had the HSTs shown in the top picture completed, and figured I could use the fabric on the right for the skinny border and not so skinny border, setting triangles, and whatever. Didn't happen. The blue was just too close to the blue in the HSTs, and I opted to use a darker blue for setting triangles. I had a lot of the medium blue used in the HSTs, so used that for the skinny border and binding. Only problem was it was in fat quarters, as was the dark blue. So did a bit of piecing to get pieces long enough. The checked fabric ended up as the backing. I used a double cotton batting so I can set hot things on it at the table and not worry about my wood tabletop.
It is machine quilted in the ditch, all of them, and then a meandering leaf pattern in the outer border that complements the leafy background fabric.

Meanwhile I have been getting stuff together to head off to Empty Spools, where I get to take a class from the fabulous Suzanne Marshall. I am sooooo excited! You can check her out at . Check out her gallery and you will know why I am so happy to be taking a class from her. I will be learning her "Take away applique" technique.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crane Wife done

Been a busy couple of weeks, having fun, working, and, yes, even some sewing. Last weekend (Saturday) I went to see "Julie and Julia", which I thoroughly enjoyed, enough so that I want to try some of Julia Child's recipes. Today I bought both of the books that the film was based upon, and one of Julia's last cookbooks. It does have the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe featured in the movie so much, and I hope to make it this week.

Then Sunday, my son came home. Doesn't sound quite as exciting as I felt, he has been in Iraq for the last six months. We knew he was coming home this month on leave, but didn't know exactly when, so it was a surprise seeing him, a very pleasant one by the way. He went off to surprise his friends (after taking a nap), so we continued on our trip to Santa Cruz for dinner. On the way we discovered a art/wine/craft fair, so stopped for a bit. I found some lovely pottery, bought a vase and a cup/mug for my weekend coffee.

Then we had dinner with a wonderful view of Santa Cruz beach, and the dinner was yummy too. I had salmon with a citrus (lemon) butter sauce, the salmon was grilled perfectly, and the spinach was tasty too.

I also managed to get the binding prepped for "Crane Wife" and the first step of sewing the binding to the quilt. During the week I worked on the binding, finally finishing it today.

Today, DH and I went to see "The Time Traveler's Wife", which we had both read a while back. They did a good job converting from the book to the screen, and the casting was spot on.

After getting back home I made Ratatouille, not from Julia Child, but from The Moosewood Cookbook, and polenta. None left, so I guess it was enjoyed.

Then on to pillowcases and a label. The pillowcases are coordinated, but not the same. There wasn't enough fabric for two bodys, but I am happy with the look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Next Goal - Katie's Quilt - Crane Wife

The next quilt on my to-do/finish list is my niece Katie's quilt. I managed to trim the edges tonight, and take its picture, or at least most of it. You can't see the edge, so I guess I won't bother taking another one when I do get the binding on. The binding will be the same fabric as the border. This is the "Just Can't Cut It" quilt pattern. My sister quilted it for me, so it will be a joint present.

Monday, August 3, 2009

SBS top done!

I pulled a late-nighter on Saturday and got the top done! Almost left the last border and mitering the corners until Sunday, but decided I could get it done. Most of Sunday was spent re-arranging my sewing room, I had to pull a few things out so I could free up some wall space to take this picture. Wall wasn't quite long enough, or tall enough. I am holding one corner up, and it is draped on the floor. Backing is on order, just didn't have quite enough of the coordinating fabric, but will use that for pillowcases. So it's all good. Yeah!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chile Verde and Mexican Rice

I have been craving Chile Verde for days, so tonight I made it. I had chilies and onions and garlic from the CSA box, and tomatoes from a co-worker's garden. I used lean boneless pork loin chops for the chile verde. Got that simmering, then made Mexican rice with more CSA box stuff, and rounded out the meal with CSA green beans. Yummy.

Chile verde:
Remove skin from chilis (brown over flame and remove under running water). Remove skin from tomatoes (boil water, add tomatoes for about a minute, or less, use slotted spoon to move tomato to iced water, pierce skin and then just peel the skin away).
Saute one chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil, add pork (sliced into 1/4" slices, then cut about 1/2" long), continue until pork is no longer pink on the outside, add chopped chilis and chopped tomatoes and some thyme, cover pan and simmer on low while everything else cooks. Add water if necessary to keep from burning.
This is very mild.

Mexican Rice:
Chop and Saute 1/2 onion and some minced garlic in olive oil until onion is soft. Add some butter and 2/3 cup of white rice (I would have used brown, but it would take too long to cook) and saute until rice is no longer translucent. Add cut, peeled tomatoes and their juice and enough water to equal about twice as much volume as the rice. Cook on low until done, about 20 minutes.

Green Beans:
Clean and trim ends, cut into bite size lengths, steam or microwave.

Grate some sharp Cheddar cheese to go on top. Also some parsley or cilantro would be good, but I forgot it.

August Goals

A new month, and new goals. Last month my goal was to finish the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler top. Didn't happen, but it should this month. I am about to start attaching the last border. My other goal last month was to make a baby quilt for a co-worker, that one did happen (Flower Fairy quilt). So for this month my goals are to:
1. Finish my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilt top, get backing ready and send it off to the long arm quilter
2. Bind my niece's quilt
3. Make coordinating pillowcases for niece's quilt (if I have enough fabric left!)
4. Finish the Half Square Triangle table runner (from Quilts and more, Fall 2008)
5. Work on my Prairie Paisley Patchwork Party quilt (sixteen 12" blocks made in 2008), figure out layout and do it (at least start on it)
6. Get supplies ready for Suzanne Marshall's class at Empty Spools (going at the end of the month)