Thursday, May 21, 2015

A quick fly-by

There's so much going on here, I feel as though I'm constantly jumping on my broom and flying off to the next drama.  In between it all, there's another baby shower, and I was just going to go buy a present, but then decided to dig out this yardage of pink reproduction fabric and make a quilt.
If I keep it small and simple it should be done for the shower at the end of the month. If it doesn't make the deadline, then it's off to Babies 'R Us for something store bought.  No pressure right?

Meanwhile here's my SF Giants game scarf so far.....
Orange = Home win
Cream = Home loss
Black = Road win
Gray = Road loss
Using Trendsetter merino dk with a F hook, and hdc stitch.
Honestly I wouldn't wear this anywhere else but to a Giants game.  These colors are screaming Halloween to me. But it's fun to make.  I couldn't come up with that stripe arrangement if I tried.
By the time the playoffs roll around in October, I will have a nice reminder of the 2015 season.

Gotta go, my broom is double parked......





Friday, May 15, 2015

Hillside Houses and Tulips

There's a new QAL over at Pretty Little Quilts, and I just jumped right in, because I had all the stuff,  the pdf's were right there for free, it was something different because I hardly ever work with solids and the blocks kind of go together like a fabric jigsaw puzzle.  And besides, I saw that Carla was making one and her blocks were calling out to me as they always do, inspiring me to try something new.
I'm making the wall hanging size using a combination of Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, American Made, and a sprinkle of Liberty scraps for the doors and windows.  Christina has the first 5 blocks posted, and it's not too late (never too late) to join in.

Now, do you remember my tulips?

Finally finished the applique, and decided on a layout.  I have to square up all those little hst's and hand piece more drunkards path blocks.  This is a slow one, and I don't mind. I like to think it's simmering in the background while I'm working away on other projects.

I heard from my son in Australia last night.  He hasn't had a shower in about a week (bathing in the river when they get a chance).  He is learning a lot and enjoying every minute.  He did say everything there bites or is poisonous. Why would you tell your mother that!  I have visions and a wild imagination. I wanted to ask him how the girls in his group are doing on the trip.  Of course I'm focusing on shaving legs, washing hair and having your period.  Ugh. They should be back at the youth hostel (showers and beds!) next week. Then at least I will feel better :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Out of practice

 My new oven was finally installed on Saturday and let me tell you that thing is a beast.  It's shiny  and clean,  just begging for a roast chicken or a pan of cookies.  The front burners on the stove top are quite powerful and the first time I turned them on I swear I heard jet engines and my mascara started to melt.  Not being able to bake anything for the last month and a half, I was anticipating a marathon weekend in the kitchen, sporting a jaunty apron and producing loaves of fresh artisan bread, homemade Mac and Cheese and this pineapple upside down cake.
The recipe calls for a layer of pineapple, then a brown sugar/butter mixture poured over the fruit, then the cake batter.  Humming happily, I slid the pans into the oven (bonus - it makes 2 cakes in 8 inch pans) and within 20 minutes I was rewarded with the smell of sugar and pineapple and...... smoke.
I peeked inside to find that the butter/sugar mixture had bubbled up all over the racks and spilled onto the bottom of the oven. Noooooo!  So much for shiny and clean.  Next time I'll place a few pieces of foil under the cake pans to catch the drips.

About this time I proceeded to boil the macaroni over onto the stove top (I told you those burners were powerful) and then spent the next half hour with my body inside the warm oven, scrubbing off burnt caramel, burning myself, swearing, sweating, burning myself again. 
What I won't do for a good meal.

Anyway when the mac and cheese was finally baking in the now clean again oven, (and I had wiped off the spilled starchy pasta water from the stove top) I sat down and cut myself a small sliver of cake (must be tested before serving right?) topped with a blob of whipped cream. (I don't know why I didn't pour a glass of wine at this point.  I mean really, where are my priorities?)  I stabbed into a piece of pineapple and my plate flipped over off the end of the table and you guessed it, upside down on the kitchen floor.  Oh please, can I clean up just one more mess?

And finally the point of the whole story, in case you thought it would never end, is that the oven performed brilliantly, but the cook was a bit out of practice. Everything tasted delicious, and I highly recommend that cake recipe.
The pictures above which have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what I was just blabbing about, are of 16 patch blocks for my May blue quilt and a scarf made with Cascade Tangier yarn in the color Sunset Beach.  It's main ingredient is silk, and so far it's real nice to work with.  Kind of reminds me of Noro, but without the swearing.



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mostly yellow


Sometime around the beginning of the year I thought about making one quilt per month out of just one main color.   I figured it would be a fun way to help cut into my stash.  Well it took until April to finally get going on the idea.

The churn dash block is one of my favorite quilt patterns, so that's where I started.  I  pulled out the most yellow, cheddary pieces of fabric I had and added a touch of black.
Block size 9"
Quilt 45 x 45
For May I'm thinking blue 16 patch blocks.  Unless I get distracted by something yarny.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Churning

Have you guys been busy?  I guess if I had been reading your blogs I would know.  I barely got this post up today, it's been such a whirlwind around here.  My son left for 6 weeks in Cairns, Australia.  He's fulfilling 18 college credits by snorkeling with the sea turtles and studying plants. Such hardship.
The prep leading up to the trip, like shopping for a 70L backpack and all it's gear was eye opening(wallet opening) and time consuming.  I also had to shop for a new oven, my old one couldn't be saved.  I  have been cooking on just the stove top for over a month now.  I could do a whole blog post on the pursuit of a 36 inch, 6 burner, duel-fuel range that won't cost the same as a trip to Australia (all because my old oven has a broken $100 door latch that is no longer available and enables the oven to heat up properly), but I won't.  Just your average first world problems.
In the meantime I'm trying to stay off my butt, and work out in the yard.  That means less time to sew and crochet, and nothing much to blog about. This past weekend I was in a weekend warrior challenge with my sister and my girls, to see who could get the most steps on our Fitbit.
I came in second (yay), but my sister, who is a freaking competitive maniac, blew us all out of the water.  I usually try to hit 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day on average. Let me tell you the first week or so I was tired after reaching 12,000 steps.  Did you know Amish women average 14,000 steps per day?  That's because they're churning their own butter, hanging out the wash and working in the garden. This Kindle book really opened my eyes.  I thought I was pretty active already, but there's always room for improvement.   Anyway, sewing, knitting, crocheting and Pinterest browsing do not factor into this "keep moving" mentality because they are all sitting activities.  It's not a coincidence that since I started blogging, pinning and crocheting I have gained a few pounds.  Must rethink this somehow and find a better balance.
I did stop moving long enough to slowly piece together a wall hanging quilt of yellow churn dash blocks. I really love that tiny floral in the last picture.  I'm torn between saving it forever and adding it to everything.
Okay that's enough sitting for now. Gotta go churn some butter.






Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bloom

the sunflowers are from the grocery store
My goodness.  I wish we were having a wedding right now, because I could probably fill the church.  You would never think that we are in the midst of a drought here in California. Our yard is a mixture of David Austin blowzy English roses, Simplicity hedge roses, climbing roses, and some unidentifiable gargantuan red sprawling thing that threatens to take down the fence with it's leaning.  The pink ones are called Our Lady of Guadalupe, which I planted in honor of my grandmother Rose May Ames.  In the garden the honeysuckle has sneakily wound itself through the bushes, and I consider it a bonus to get a piece of it when I cut the blooms.  The house smells like a florist shop.

Happy Earth Day

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Not a quilt

Almost a quilt but not quite.

But just as fun.


I worked in the yard again yesterday and I'm pooped.  It's been hot here and I was feeling lazy today so I took a nap with the ceiling fan twirling slowly above me, the curtains closed to the heat.  I had been trimming up some shrubs in the backyard near the patio (and cleaned the patio while I was at it), and found one of my good forks buried in the dirt.  I have no idea.  Must have been one helluva party.
 Anyway, I finished up these place mats inspired by the ones I saw here.  I really liked the way they turned out.  I used American Made cotton (light khaki) for the background and the yellow and red blocks.  The rest is stash.
I also ordered some low volume fabric from Sunny Day Supply Fabric shop.  I love getting packages in the mail wrapped up all cute like this...
That little bit on the top contained some ribbon and a couple of buttons. Such a nice touch.  Something you don't get when ordering from a major chain store.
My baseball scarf is crawling along.  I was changing colors every couple of rows and was not happy with my knitting(actually the knitting part was fine, the color changes sucked very hard)  I ripped it back and started over 3 different times, then decided I wasn't having any fun so I switched to crochet.  I'll put up a picture next time, after a few more games and color changes.
I haven't crocheted anything in a while and I miss it.  I have a couple of blankets that need finishing, but you know how that goes. Meh. I'd rather start something new.  Any ideas?