Monday, January 31, 2011

Seneca Lake

I just came back from taking a walk along Seneca Lake at the state park. For such a miserably cold day it was really quite pretty. Do you like to see pictures of where your favorite bloggers are from? I do.

Design Wall Monday January 31, 2011

Not great progress on the quilt this weekend, just too much going on. I almost finished one more blue and green block but everyone was hungry. It was supposed to get -8  last night so I had Pat bring the flannel quilt that is usually on the couch, upstairs and we put it on the bed last night. So nice and toasty! I think another flannel quilt is going in the queue.
The mitten was supposed to be finished last night but I must have been tired, because I was decreasing in pattern and I kept screwing up, so I picked up my book instead.
I haven't heard anything about my Singer from the repairman yet, bummer.
Happy sewing everyone and be sure and check out what everyone else is doing over at Judy's blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quilt Progress Update

Between gelled fuel and the D.O.T. it's a wonder I have anything done on this quilt. Monday morning in our area it was 10 below zero when we got up and my husband Pat's truck decided not to stay running, due to the fuel gelling up. Now he knew it was going to be cold and added fuel treatment and did other preventative things but the truck wouldn't start. Six hours later after hauling gallons of hot water and changing fuel filters and adding 8 jugs of Power Service Diesel 911 he was finally on his way.

Some sewing was done on Tuesday and then Wednesday I get an early morning call, he is about 30 miles away and his flashers quit working and his spare flasher didn't work and of course the DOT  were set up doing inspections, so he got pulled in and put out of service till I could get there with the new part. I didn't take a picture, I didn't think the troopers would like it. Lol. He was good to go after plugging in the part. Meanwhile I am gazing south (home is north) realizing I am five minutes away from my favorite quilt shop! But I resisted the temptation and headed back home and did a little sewing, a little knitting, and a little reading
I'm reading The Lover's Knot a quilt related mystery. I am enjoying the book and plan to read the rest of the series.

The mitten is coming along nicely too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday January 24, 2011

My applique block is almost done but you have seen it twice so I won't bore you again. While going through my EQ project files I came across a quilt I really like.

I'll make a few more and cut out some sashing before I decide if I like it enough to make. Right now the quilt is eighty inches square but I could add a row and make it fit my bed or leave and use it hanging over the couch this fall would be nice too.
The final border needs some tweaking, the proportions are off, I think the triangles should be thinner. Or even better would be an applique border!

Most of the weekend I read or knit and tried to stay warm.The snowflake mitten is coming along nicely.

 Be sure and visit Judy's blog to see what she and everyone else have on their walls today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Are You Working On Today?

It's Saturday afternoon and  it's freezing out side!  I don't know about you but when it's this cold out there is nothing better than something cooking or baking in the oven and I won't be tempted to keep turning up the heat, especially since I just paid my heat and electric bill yeasterday.Ouch!
 So I baked bread and put a pot roast  in the oven. I'll only have to make mashed potatoes and dinner is done.
I sort of took over the kitchen table today. You would think the person who lives here has ADHD with all the projects going on; a hat, a pair of socks, a pair of snowflake mittens, reading on my Ipad, looking at patterns in JB's book for a block idea to use with my charm packs.
My sewing room is in the front of the house and it's kind of chilly in there.So no sewing today.
Oh well it's Saturday...what are you working on today?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yummy Granola

I usually have fruit, toast, or oatmeal for breakfast but this morning I was craving some nutty, fruity granola. The recipe I use is not necessarily low fat or low in calories but boy is it yummy.! Feel free to substitute if you are not a fan of one of the ingredients or don't have it on hand. I had to use spanish pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. I like it a little fruitier and nuttier too so I add slivered almonds or walnuts or pecans. I also add craisins, and golden raisins too! A palmful or about 1/4 cup each.

2 1/2 cups oatmeal (any kind but instant)
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 (4 tablespoons) stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup of raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In large 11 x 17 inch  lightly buttered pan or roasting pan add oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring several times
While oatmeal is toasting combine butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt in a small pan and heat over medium low heat till it comes to a simmer. Off heat add the vanilla.
Reset oven to 350 degrees, and add the wheat germ to oatmeal mixture. Drizzle butter, honey mixture over oatmeal and toss lightly with a fork. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes then add raisins, stirring to combine. Press mixture firmly into an even layer and bake for another 5 minutes or until oatmeal is light golden color. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes, using a spatula loosen granola from bottom of the pan into large chunks. Cool completely then store in airtight container.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eight Point Star

I felt in the mood for something different today. So I picked an eight point star block from my Jinny Beyer Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns printed out a basic eight point star from EQ and then drafted the rest.
I kind of like it.
Going to bed now. Maybe I'll make another one tomorrow.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sick Singer

Well I just talked to my sewing machine repairman and the news is not encouraging. The first thing he asks is how much I am willing to spend on my 20 year old machine! Ouch. He said it's either a computer board or the motor and it will be around $150. (sigh) last year I had to replace a different computer board and that cost $300.
So I think this is it for the old girl, I really, really, really want a Bernina and I guess its time to start putting money aside for a new machine.
 My Singer was one of the first computerized machines back in 1980 and I justified spending $1200 ($3000 in todays dollars) because I sewed all my kids clothes, shirts for my husband and my dad, and I made quilts, lots and lots of quilts. The first sewing I did with it was to sew a wardrobe for my mom to wear on a trip to Florida.
So I have gotten my money's worth out of her but I think I should be realistic; she is not the best for machine quilting. The tension discs are probably worn because I cannot use monofilament thread and the lighting really is awful.... See how I am coming up with reasons for a new machine? Lol
I will probably get her back and she will sew fine for another 10 years.

Sore Finger

Making good progress on my block and hopefully I will be starting the next one sometime this week too. Boy is my finger sore though! My middle finger looks like a pin cushion from my evening applique session.

Yesterday I wanted to start a couple of different projects so I could have something to work on that is not applique (machine or hand) so I spent time looking through some quilt books and working on designs in EQ but before I knew it the day was gone and I spent zero hours in front of the sewing machine. The Featherweight anyway, my poor Singer is sitting by the front door waiting to go to the The Sewing Machine Doctor.
Don't you just hate it when you want to do several things but you just can't seem to get started or even make a decision?
Maybe if I pull fabrics for the projects I would like to make and put together a kit with the pattern or name of the book and page of the project; or if it's a EQ project file I could print the quilt out. At least some of the decisions would already be made and I could just begin. Maybe.
Be sure and stop later in the week, I promise I'll have something else to show you besides the block above! There.... now I will have to make a decision. Lol

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Block Progress

Bouquet For A New Day block is progressing, I'll probably work on more leaves tonight while the football game is on. If you zoom in you'll see I appliqued two of the tiny circles. The larger one I tried using freezer paper, it came out too big though. The other small circle above the red flower bud, I used needle turn and that seemed to work a little better, so that is probably the process I will use. The other circles are larger and I will use my circles. If you have been following along it doesn't look like much changed but everything is stitched down now.

                                                                             Still working on the Feathered Star blocks by Kim Diehl. My foot pedal came on Friday  but it didn't fix my problem so I guess I'll be taking the Singer to the Sewing Machine Doctor on Monday. Very frustrating....
Sindy at Fat Cat Patterns has a new block of the month that I might make. Fiesta would sure look nice on my bed! She designed it for raw edge applique but you could make it anyway you prefer and she shows the quilt it several different colorways too.
Another pair of socks came off the needles last night! These are going to my sister-in-law. She had surgery last week, had some complications and had to have surgery again! Not fun at all.
Well the second game is about to start so I am going to grab my block and maybe some yarn and needles and  stitch and knit for awhile.
Hope you have a peacful weekend. I'll be back soon

Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday January 10th, 2011

This is as far as I have gotten with my block, and it was all done on Sunday.

I like to get as much tacked down as I can, then I put together a to-go bag with my block, thread, needles, scissors, and thimble and any pieces that are not glued down yet. This block has some teeny, tiny circles. They are so small I don't have one in my circle set (Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley).

Friday I went on a little shop hop with my friend Marie. We left about 9 AM and our first stop was at Golden Lane Fabrics; its a little shop in Himrod, NY. It's owned by a mennonite family  and it is stuffed with fabric. Thank goodness she is about 35 minutes away or I could get in some serious trouble. Our next stop was at an even tinier shop in Dundee, NY called The Fabric Shop, her inventory was low since they just finished the season at The Windwill where they set up shop from April till December. If you are ever in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State the Windmill is a great place to stop on a Saturday.
Our last shop was in Watkins Glen, NY at O'Susannah's Quilt Shop. It was a fun day and some new fabrics found their way into my stash.
Today I have to take my son to the train station in Syracuse, NY for a trip to New York City to visit a friend. There are several quilt shops nearby that I would like to check out but I think I better  behave (at least till Thursday, when I have to pick him up, hehe.)
Be sure and stop by Judy's blog and see what everyone else is up to today

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Block of the Month

I finally finished the June block of my Bouquet For A New Day block of the month. It is a Sue Garmen quilt designed just for The Quilt Show members (2 years ago!).

This one is going to take a little while to do But I need some hand work to do till my machine is working better.
I had to order a new foot pedal for my machine because its being crazy! I don't know why they did it, but my foot pedal is air operated and lately it either doesn't go when I step on it or it goes wide open! Not good for stitching around appliques. If that doesn't fix the problem I guess its off to the Singer people to figure it out. Of course it doesn't do it all the time know what I mean if you have ever described a noise in your car to your mechanic! A noise that only happens when you are driving.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Birthday Time!

Thursday December 23rd was my birthday. My husbands is Decemebr 28th. Today January 3rd is my son Ian's birthday. January 19th is my middle daughter's and February 3rd is my oldest daughter's birthday. When they were all at home they only wanted chocolate cake for their special day. I have to say that by the time February came around I was a little tired of chocolate cake. LOL.
But if you love chocolate you should try this cake. Its not hard to make at all, just follow the directions and use the right size pans ( I put parchment paper in the bottom of mine so the cake doesn't stick) and you'll get "perfect" chocolate cake.

McCalls Perfect Chocolate Cake

So chocolaty, moist and delicious. Follow recipe exactly for best results.

1 cup unsifted unsweetened cocoa

2 cups boiling water

2 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter or regular margarine, softened

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 pkg (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate pieces

1/2 cup light cream

1 cup butter or regular margarine

2 1/2 cups unsifted confectioner's sugar


1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1/4 cup unsifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with wire whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt, and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease well and lightly flour three 9 by 1 1/2 inch layer cake pans.

In large bowl of electric mixer at high speed beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally, until light--about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with cocoa mixture (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat. Divide evenly into pans; smooth top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides with spatula; remove from pans; cool on racks.

Frosting: In medium saucepan, combine chocolate pieces, cream, butter; stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat. With whisk, blend in 2 1/2 cups confectioners; sugar. In bowl set over ice, beat until it holds shape.

Filling: Whip cream with sugar and vanilla; refrigerate.

To assemble cake: On plate, place a layer, top side down; spread with half of cream. Place second layer, top side down; spread with rest of cream. Place third layer, top side up.

To frost: With spatula, frost sides first, covering whipped cream; use rest of frosting on top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. To cut, use a thin edged sharp knife; slice with a sawing motion. Serves 10-12. ( Not at my house !!! Lol )

Design Wall Monday January 3rd, 2011

Happy New Year!
On my design wall today are some of the blocks for my Kim Diehl wallhanging "Feathered Stars" I still have to baste the center block. It will be nice to get back to doing some applique after the simple nap quilts for my grandkids. I'll show them when the machine quilting gets finished.
I have several UFO's I definitely want to finish this year, this quilt being one of them. Over the next week I will update the blog to show my projects and progress. I would like to have a separate page for each so you can click on the project and see my progress or lack of! 
 I do hope to accomplish a lot more than I did last year, including finishing Ian's Trail to Eagle quilt.
 Be sure to check out everyone's design walls over at Judy's blog, thats where I'll be when I'm not in the sewing room.