Monday, December 28, 2015

A little quilty - a little yummy

I'm sure this is a familiar picture about now.  I finished clue #4 today and hopefully will have time to do #5 tomorrow afternoon.  I think I'm on the home stretch.

I'm anxious to see how it will turn out and I'm ready to continue on with my other projects.  It has been fun.

I made Carmelized Butter Tarts today from this recipe.  It needs some tweaking.  My husband says more crust and less filling.  I say too much butter.  If you like raisin filled cookies (which I do) then you will really like this. The crust has butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest in it so it's very flavorful.  The recipe makes 18 tarts.  I don't know what I was thinking - there are only two of us to eat them!

This is the first time I have made a recipe where I weighed everything instead of just using measuring cups.   It called for 4 oz. of egg.

The filling is especially good so when I make it again I'll probably just put vanilla and lemon zest in my regular (tried & true) pie filling recipe and use the yummy filling recipe.

The sky was bright and clear Saturday when I took this picture but we now have over a week of inversion status.  Makes me not want to go outside at all.  That and the 20 degree weather . . .

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I have been sick for over a week but that doesn't stop Christmas from coming

I've been working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt called Alletare.  This is clue # 2 and I'm well into #4.  I've enjoyed working on it, little stress during a busy time of year.

The gray yardage I chose to use throughout the quilt even has the word mysterious written on it although I don't know what language it is.

I finally finished decorating.  It seemed like my new tree just didn't have enough ornaments on it. I couldn't stop looking for more decorations.  Then I counted how many ornaments I used for the display on my hutch (27) and decided maybe I should use a different arrangement next year.

A home in our area had an open house with all their naivity sets on display.  I saw this clever nativity.  They took pictures of everyone all dressed up and then mounted the pictures on wood.  I need to try this!

I also loved this carved Tagua nut nativity made in China.  I really wanted to hold the donkey or the camel but I refrained - drat!

We have had snow storm after snow storm.  The weird part is that it melts in between storms.  We have another big one expected Christmas day.  The poor birds are already scavenging for food.

We had a family Christmas party last weekend.  My granddaughter whom I haven't seen for about 4 years was able to come and spend a week with us.  Here is Uncle Nate giving her a mouthful of whipped cream.

I tried to insert a video of three of my children, who like to get together and play their instruments every Christmas.  The sweet part is that my grandson promptly got out his chimes and played along with them.  He acted as if it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. What a cutey.

Christmas is about family.  I hope you and your family can gather together and share the joy of Christmas this year.  For us, all of our celebration will be beforehand.  This will be the first time since our first Christmas together in 1973 that we won't have children spending the night and waking up to see what Santa has brought.  We're starting a new era.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Whew - tedious alert!

It has been almost a month since I last posted.  What have I been doing?  Here are a few things that have kept me busy

I was doing a puzzle today with the quilt top above.  I unpicked two blocks and replaced them with the two alternating pink and red blocks.  It looks much better.  I can finally relax.  More on that at the end of the post.

My DH and I love puzzles and so when I found this one entitled 'The Quilt Room' it seemed perfect.  The artist Kim Jacobs (who I love) isn't really a quilter or things would look a lot different in this room.  Well, at least, I would paint  a quilt room much differently.  The cat sitting on the frames (gasp!)- wouldn't happen here.  It has nothing to do with cat hair, it that the weight of the cat would make the quilt sag. It just wasn't as much fun as I'd hoped. It won't go into the puzzle closet to be done again someday.  It's moving out.

There's been some delightful sunrises.  It's like a gift for getting up early.

I've been working madly on this bow tie quilt.  So I haven't been idle.  It's all hand quilted and finally ready to be mailed for Christmas.

DH and I went to Utah State to hear our son play in the symphony.  They played a Sibelius piece. It was rather quirky and strident at times. I expected the usual Sleigh Ride and Silent Night.  Maybe next time~

I made grape jam one afternoon.  Our concord grapes were picked in early November.  We have had such nice weather that the few clusters that weren't ripe then have had plenty of time to ripen.  The house smelled heavenly.

We went to a great antique store called Capital City Antiques on 9th South & West Temple in SLC.  I found this cookie jar.  We had one just like it in the 70's.  Going antiquing is so nostalgic.

My sister found these Ty stuffed cuties at the grocery store one day.  She collects them for her grandchildren.  The green eyes on the penguin were particularly sparkly (is that a word) but they don't show up in the picture.

I finished all four quilts that are going in the mail this Christmas.  I know I'll be paying a fortune to mail them but it's all worth it.  I'm just glad they are done and I've got my life back.

And so we come to the puzzle of a quilt.  I unpicked two blocks out of my nosegay quilt today.

I've done this process before and it's no fun.  But, I don't think I've replaced 12" blocks before.  IT WAS SO TEDIOUS!  It doesn't help that as I was unpicking, I came to an intersection.  Instead of turning right, I turned left and I was 1/2 way down the block before I realized I was ripping out the WRONG block!!!

The nosegay quilt pattern is from the book Home Sweet Home by Blackbird Designs.

I unpicked the block and then removed the Robin Pandolph green fussy cut cone.

And put it on the block with the alternating pink and red diamonds (petals).  And then tediously sewed them back in to the space I had created.  A lot more unpicking ensued before I was done.

I finally actually like this quilt top.

When I first made it I wasn't pleased.  I took some of the pink blocks out and replaced them with red ones.  I know, I know, I'm a glutton for unpicking punishment.  I didn't like that either so I considered replacing the red setting triangles.

I was frustrated because I was so enraptured by this fabric line when it first came out.  It is called 'Gingham Rose" by 3 Sisters/Moda.  I think it came out in 2003 or something.  I loved the border floral and dreamed about what fabulous top I could make with it.  I finally came across a pattern I wanted to try and. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  it didn't turn out as I had pictured it in my mind.

It got folded up and put in the "Big Top" (that's what I call the closet that hold my 25+ quilt tops waiting for their turn).  That was years ago.

Last year my goal was to hand quilt my 5 Blackbird Designs quilt tops that had been languishing in the Big Top.

I finished these two this year;

Birds of a Feather

Hallowe'en 1904

The Nosegay quilt was next in the queue but the four Christmas quilts got in the way.  Oh, and a quilt from my Nephew's shirts, and the two tied refugee quilts for our ward party.

The Nosegay quilt has been hanging on the quilt frames for months.  I accidentally found 3 partial blocks from it when I was collecting things for an orphan quilt.  And suddenly, I started to like it again.  It looked like it could be used in Christmas decorating - it had a whole new persona.  I spread it out and the rest is history.  The backing is currently being pre-shrunk.  It's going on the frames.  It won't be ready for this Christmas but look out 2016.

And in case you got this far (THANK YOU) and forgot what it looks like, here is another gorgeous picture.


Saturday, November 7, 2015


about getting ready everyday that drives me crazy!!!

It has got to be the most mind numbing thing I do all day.

And that is  . . .blow drying my hair.

It's not like I could listen to the radio or stare at the TV because I can't hear anything over the noise of the motor in the dryer.  I can't read a book or a magazine because I would constantly be interrupted by checking where to aim the blower next.

I know I'm being nit-picky but those 2-4 minutes every time I wash my hair literally make me crazy.

Sorry about the rant~

Those of you with differing opinions are the lucky ones.

I finished the blocks for the birds in the air quilt.  I need to come up with another name for this.  It is made out of the shirts of my 22 yr. old nephew who passed away last June.  His mother asked me if I would make a quilt for her.

I cut out 2 1/2" squares for one of the borders.  I accidentally cut out 240 square which was twice as many as I really needed.  I have a habit of doing this and cutting out twice as much binding as I need.  I've got to figure out a way to stop the duplicity -ha!  I do check twice and sometimes 3 times but it's a flaw in my math skills I guess.

I put on the first inner border using a dark blue print by Kansas Troubles.

Then I sewed on half the a fore mentioned 2 1/2" square strip and another dark print border.  I don't normally work with plaids.  And I have to mention that I didn't really enjoy sewing this quilt top together.  But the plaids just SPARKLE in this quilt.  Maybe it's the block I chose to do.  They turned out so pretty.

I also hastily pieced a doll quilt from the leftover blocks and some of the leftover strip.  I'm going to quickly machine quilt it and then it will be ready for the next doll that comes over.  My granddaughters are more into stuffed animals and Barbie so it could be a while...............

These are the reds that I've picked out for the new Bonnie Hunter mystery.  They show up much brighter than they really are but I love them.  I 've decided I'm not putting anything in this quilt that I don't absolutely love.  I have a number of uglyish golds so it's going to be a challenge.  I have a French General piece that is mostly grey/beige with a red flower that I thought I might use instead of scrappy neutrals.  Still thinking about that.

In the meantime, looks at this absolutely gorgeous daffodil that thought it was spring and bloomed.  I have five clusters but this one is the biggest.  I had my DH cut them and bring them in because of the hard freeze last night.  I really think it must be a lily the way it perfumes the whole room.  It could be a bride's bouquet all by it'self.

Such a pretty day to spend in my sun-filled sewing room.  I better get down there before the day leaves me behind.

News from Bonar Bridge

Hawaiian print quilt top is my daughter's project Here is a look at "Quilting Central" down in my basement.  Finishing up UFOs...