Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Low Volume Quilt and High Volume (Katrina) Quilt

A few months ago, I was pondering what to do with my "fullest" scrap bin, my white / beige / off-white bin.  Soon after, I started seeing the parade of "low volume" quilts in blog land.  They're quilts made entirely of white and beige fabrics or fabrics that have this as a background color.  Google (or search Flickr or Pinterest) for "low volume quilts", and you'll see what I mean.

Last week, after my mom left, and my house got back in order, I started pulling them all out, and have started some initial sewing.  We'll both have to wait and see what I come up with, because even I'm not entirely sure.

As some of you know, my mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law all were living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, 7 years ago.  They have since relocated to Dallas, which makes me so relieved today, as I've been glued to the TV watching Hurricane Isaac roar through.  I still have friends in New Orleans though, so my heart is there 100% right now.

With my mom having recently visited, I thought I'd dig out one of my most cherished possessions.  It is a quilt that my mom made many years ago (1970's) that actually survived Katrina.  They had 3-4 feet of water in their house, so they lost most of their possessions, including almost all of our family pictures, but many items stored up high, such as this quilt, survived.

It's a very big, heavy quilt, as the blue fabric is a denim or twill, but I just love it!  It screams 70's, and check this out...
Yep, my mom was fussy cutting before fussy cutting was a verb LOL!  Here's a few other awesome blocks and fabrics:
I just got to add that this quilt has been used for moving furniture, and my mom was totally surprised that I even wanted it.  I still have my eye on a Star Trek Quilt that she made for my brother that I made her swear she'd never get rid of.  He should have it, but if it's still in her closet next time I visit I may have to sneak it home with me ;-).

A quilt this good just has to be shared, so I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced WIP Wed.  Come join us!

Texting While Sewing

When I saw "Made During Quiet Time"'s "Texting While Sewing" Contest, I knew I wanted to enter.

I think playing with all of my fun Polaroid mini-blocks for the swap that I'm in, combined with the texting contest, is ultimately what led me to come up with this idea, a play on the adage, "A pictures is worth a thousand words.".  I used one of my Polaroid blocks with some of my text prints, and the block design was created and was sewn together.  Only minimal texting was involved, and only while the sewing machine was safely in park.  Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful blocks!!

Just had to add that the first picture totally reminds me of the "Star Wars" beginning... "in a Galaxy far, far away..."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pendleton Postcards

Now that my garden is dying down (literally), I finally have been able to get back to my sewing machine!

A few months ago, I decided to try to sell some postcards at our local art center.  My Kindle cases just haven't been selling well lately.  I'm not even relisting them now, waiting instead to list them closer to Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

The postcards were sold out in just a matter of weeks!  So I'm making up some more to take over there.  As typically happens, I ran out of material though (fusible interfacing, and the backing fabric).  If these keep selling, I may have to start buying materials in bulk, as it's sometimes hard to get what I need in a small town, but I should always have a constant WONDERFUL supply of beautiful Pendleton wool, made right here in town!  Yes, I'm very lucky!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday at the Table, Homemade Pasta and Pesto

I'm afraid our garden got a bit of a frost a few days ago.  It seems as though we always get our first frost this time of year.  It took me 3 years to figure this out though.  The forecast is always in the mid-forties (F), but apparently, we're a good 10 degrees colder than the local weather station. Sigh...

Luckily, the basil was spared.  Only a few of the plants were totally killed, so I've been busy trying to harvest what I can before the next round of cold weather comes through.  Taking into account our very slow start, it hasn't been a stellar year for the garden, but I'll take what I can get.  Here's what I brought in yesterday:
I decided to make my 2nd big batch of pesto today, and tried something different.  I blanched the basil in boiling water first, in an attempt to keep it bright green.  I never have liked the way pesto seems to turn brown after I make it. 
 The first batch I made this year, I used lemon juice, which helped some, but not as much as I'd liked.

I must admit that even though it's more work, I really liked the blanching technique!!  The top picture is the batch I made with the blanched leaves, the bottom, with lemon juice.

I always spread the extra out in freezer bags thin to freeze for later (bags to the right are the blanched basil pesto)!!

I like to take a few shortcuts to make it easier, including just throwing chucks of Parmesan cheese in the food processor and finally chopping it, instead of grating it.  I also use garlic paste from the store occasionally.

I also decided tonight to make fresh pasta.  I LOVE fresh pasta!  It's worth every bit of extra effort!!
Fresh pasta, pesto, and garden veggies combined to make the perfect summer meal tonight!!

There's only a few days left of Tuesdays at the (herbal) table over at "A Quilter's Table", so be sure to link up there, or just come see what others are cooking!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Visit From Mom, and Trip to Mt Rainier

A few days ago, we all said good-bye to my mom, after she paid us a nice visit all the way from Dallas, TX.  It was hot when she first got here, but we took care of that, and headed up to Mt Rainier to escape the heat and to do a little bit of camping. 

I'm only about 4 hours away from the park boundary, and it's certainly a place I'll be going to again!  I really do think that it's one of the best, most beautiful National parks that I've been to. 

It once again confirmed that I really am a mountain woman LOL.  I love the beach, and appreciate the beauty of the Southwest, but feel most at home and at peace up in the mountains.  I feel so lucky to be able to live in such a beautiful part of the world!!
I'm slowly getting caught up in blog-land and getting back to our regular routine.  I hope to get back to sewing soon too!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday at the (Herbal) Table: Oregano

We love Greek food in our household!  This means we use a lot of Oregano.  My favorite way to use it is on a plate of authentic Greek Feta cheese (very difficult to find here), drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. Yum!  Add a good loaf of bread, and a few tomatoes, and that's a meal in itself.

When it comes to growing oregano, I'm afraid I haven't had a whole lot of success.  Herbs in the garden have a tendency to spread and take over, so I put them in pots, but our dry climate often leaves them with not enough water.  I may have to try to put them in our front yard or another place away from the vegetable garden, and try again.

One easy Greek dish I like to make this time of year is an egg dish with (garden) zucchini and feta cheese.  I first saute cubed zucchini and onions in olive oil until slightly soft.
Then I add 6 (beaten) eggs, lots of oregano, and other spices, cooking as you would an omelet.  When it's almost set, I pile on the crumbled feta cheese, then put it the oven under the broiler for a few minutes to finish cooking it.  It's a super easy, wonderful summer meal.
Come join me over at "A Quilter's Table" at Tuesday at the Herbal Table and see what others have been dishing out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WIP / Weedless Wed

This is the time of year, that my WIP's become edible LOL!  I still have most of these on my kitchen counter, waiting to be cut up and frozen!  I love how fresh and cheap produce is this time of year, and take full advantage of its abundance!  I've also been busy here:
and here:
We also lost a friend, neighbor, and co-worker's wife this past week, which has left us all in a sad mood, and kept us busy with the visitation, funeral, condolences, and preparations for these.  This friend was 50 years old, and left behind a husband and 3 children, so it's particularly difficult.  It's left me very reflective and once again, reminds me how each day is a real treasure.

I did manage to get a quilt back all sewn up for my now oldest WIP/UFO.  Here's the front, but you'll have to wait to see the back, because I decided to splurge, and send it off to my friend Marlene to do on her long arm!

I have another back almost finished for my next-oldest WIP/UFO.  Here's the top:
This is going to be a real "manly" quilt ;-).  With temperatures hovering around 100 here, I've decided to wait until the fall to quilt.  For now, my goal is to get backs made for all the rest of my WIP's, which now is only a half dozen or less!!!

As usual, I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced WIP Wed.  Come see what others are working on!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WIP and Weedless Wednesday: Triangles and Okra

I spent the last day or 2 FINALLY finishing putting the binding onto my oldest WIP/UFO!!!  I had the binding corners from both it and my "Purple Haze" quilt sitting next to my sewing machine, and they looked so good, that I had to sew them all together.  I have a few strips of binding left over from both as well, so I've been having fun playing around with them!

By the way, my Purple Haze Quilt did not win any prizes at the festival, but the winners were much-deserved, so I'm still very happy.  On other news, my Med Tech Quilt also came back from its trip to the national ASCLS convention in Los Angeles!  I'm still so thrilled that I had the opportunity to share this with other med techs!!

I did the same thing with triangles from my Olympic Inspired quilt which still isn't finished.  I have been having WAY too much fun watching the Olympics on TV each night!  How about those women's gymnasts last night?!  Yea!!!

Here's my (unnamed) UFO finish:

I started this quilt 2 1/2 years ago with a friend.  We took her stash and both made the pattern in one long afternoon.  We both ended up with a big quilt top, but after I got it home, it sat untouched for 2 years.  I think I spent far too much time talking with my girlfriend than matching up colors LOL.  I finally dug it out a few months ago, and first quilted it, then finally got the binding on this week.  The colors just aren't "me" at all, although the back is all my stash fabric, and that's as close as I possibly could match it.  Since my friend and I both have husbands who fight wildfires, I decided that this will be donated to the Phoenix Quilt Project, which is trying to gather enough quilts to donate to each family who lost a home during this year's wildfire season.
When it comes to the garden, today is a very much celebrated day for me!!  The first okra blossom has appeared!  Yea!!

We also have cucumbers starting to roll in, and more red starting to appear here and there!  I just love this time of year!

If you're still with me, thanks for reading, and go check out what others have been working on over at Freshly Pieced WIP Wed.