Monday, September 1, 2014

No Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to all my US friends. I have the day off from real job, so that's fun. Plus, there's potato salad. How better can the day get?

Everything is better with cheese! I won a $50 gift certificate for President cheeses. Yesterday, the Inspector and I had brunch at Hamburger Mary's and stopped by Tar-jay to get my cheese loot. They didn't have a huge selection, but I had fun! Manchego, goat, and brie. Hooray! I'm going to stuff slices of brie in baby bella mushrooms and bake them later today.

My cousin got me hooked on the documentary "Grey Gardens" made in the 1970s. It's about Jacqueline Kennedy's relatives that lived in the Hamptons. I've been meaning to watch the film adaptation with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. I found the DVD at the library when I was there for Sew Day. The film version provided some back story that explained a lot. If you haven't seen these, check them out.

And lookie what else the library had. They call them "Playaways," and it's an all-in-one audio book. You put a battery in it, attach your earbuds and away you go. Beats watching episodes of "Snapped" all day when I'm at the sewing machine. I think I've seen all the sordid episodes anyway.

My guild buddies gifted me with pretty selvages at Sew Day Saturday. I must play with these soon. As usual, everyone is creating with gorgeous fabrics. It's fun to see what they're using.

Today I'm going to play with my spider web blocks and eat potato salad. I might take a boat ride around the lake later when the gang's all here. Have fun!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Fun

It was a fun sewing weekend. I made three wagon wheel blocks to go with the ones I won at the guild lotto. That's seven blocks toward a quilt. These blocks go together easily with chain piecing. Two more and I should be bored with them. Story of my quilt life.

I found gorgeous jalapeno peppers at the market. They were so pretty they looked fake. My grapefruit spoon works like a charm to remove the seeds and ribs, which is where most of the heat is. I've done this by hand and cannot recommend. Spent one evening too many gripping ice cubes. Get a grapefruit spoon. And wear gloves if you don't work with peppers a lot.

Inspector Gadget and I had fun emptying my cheese drawer for the peppers and shrimp and then wrapping everything in bacon. I wanted to grill these, but the cheese would not have cooperated. I made a butter, wine and spice sauce to drizzle on before baking. Because cheese needs butter and wine.

Here you go. Out of the oven. They were yum. The jalapeno peppers get milder when cooked. Our local hangout serves the shrimp with jalapeno, cheese and bacon. I can't get enough of them, but I think our version was better.

More spider webs blocks using my scraps. I always think fabric scraps multiply during the night, but I can actually see a bit of a dent in mine. What?

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Let's eat, grandpa

So many recipes to try. My Pinterest boards are crying uncle. Catching up on magazine reading by the pool last weekend, I tore out five new recipes to try. These refried beans are vegetarian and couldn't be easier. I threw some chili powder in them for zing. They cook all day in the crock pot and then you mush them.

I was trying to make refried beans without the lard and preservatives I see in the canned versions, but look at these refrieds from Trader Joe's. Doh! I should have just opened a can and saved myself the trouble.

Bones was helping Inspector Gadget feed the carp grass clippings. Our new neighbors think the carp are gators. Bones hopes they are not.

I fit in a few more spider web blocks last weekend. Hoping to get a few more sewn this weekend. I love playing in the scraps.
Even the trash is colorful.

I won the block lotto at our monthly guild meeting! Woo hoo! Only four blocks this month, but I will have fun making more. I think these Wagon Wheel blocks are so cute. A big thanks to Rene' for bringing my block to the meeting and sending me my winning loot. I love them!

Happy weekend! I'm rushing through my chores and office work and plan to play my weekend away. There will be cooking involved!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I've Missed You!

A gal at work ordered some of these Nature Box snacks and they were so good, I ordered some too. They have sweet healthy stuff, but I'm hooked on their savory snacks. So good. I highly recommend the Toasted Cheddar Stix. Not shown because we gobbled them down. If you want to try them, send me your e-mail address and they'll give you $10 off your first box.

Looking through my templates for a spider web template. Kind of fun to see what I've made over the years. I probably should toss them, but I've used a few more than once.

My only fabric acquisition over the weeks. It's been busy with summer fun and oh yeah, work. I do love Denise Schmidt's fabrics. Found this one on clearance at Jo-Ann.

Found my spider web template. These blocks are so fun to make. I'm using scrap paper as the foundations. I hope to make a few more after my weekend chores. I'm using this tutorial, but you can find many others out there.

I found a rack of lamb that didn't cost as much as my car. I brushed them with Dijon mustard, rolled them in an herb mixture and threw them on the grill.

Much to College Boy's dismay, I switched out the silverware. He has a certain connection with our old set, as in odd cutlery freaked him out. If a spoon didn't match our set, he refused to use it. I offered to put the old set with his "hope chest" items, but he declined.

I organized my gargantuan gadget drawer too. These oldies are my favorites. I stole the can opener from my mom's house when I moved out. Bad girl. And three biscuit cutters are normal for a Southern girl.

Bring on the fruits and vegetables. Summertime is my favorite. I hope you're eating well too! Happy Saturday!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Across the Finish Line

You know what they say about us crazy quilters. Find some fun fabric, chop it into pieces and then sew it back together. It's not as futile as everyone in my family thinks. I really liked this collection. Very retro and the colors were right up my alley.

I really didn't think I would finish the Michael Miller challenge before the deadline, but I made it! I even quilted it myself. There were hurdles. I didn't photograph them. Did I mention I hate the quilting part of quilting? I do.

Look how close the binding was. Not even enough binding to do a mitered seam. No biggie, straight seam it is! The backing striped fabric matched pretty well and I found it in my stash right away. Bring on a new project. Oh wait, I have seven million works in progress going on. No shortage of projects around these parts.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Monday!

I finished all my blocks for the Michael Miller fabric challenge. Using my design table, I threw them together mostly haphazardly. Anything would go with these scrappy blocks. I loved the print that had the big flower motifs, so I left those without chopping them up. We only had fat eighths to work with , but I still had two pretty flowers to feature.

I sewed the blocks together two by two and then in rows of four. For smaller quilts like this I stitch continuously to keep everything straight.

I even press the rows while everything is still attached. It makes it easy to press the block seams opposite ways so they sandwich when you sew the rows together.

I added some solid borders to increase the size a bit. The finished top is 42" x 44". Now to find something for the back and get this baby quilted and bound.

Cool selvage! Love me some orange.

Our guild's BOM for August. This one was fun. It's a traditional wagon wheel block. I love seeing all the blocks of the month that everyone creates.

Oh my gosh, I got caught up in "Botched" while I was sewing Sunday. I usually watch "Snapped" but it appears I've seen too many episodes and I hate repeats. Have you seen this "Botched" show where they're trying to fix botched plastic surgeries? *shudder* Yeah, I watched two entire episodes and tapped the prime time show that aired Sunday night. I'm pretty sure spending all my plastic surgery money on fabric has been an excellent decision.

As usual, we're starving around here. It's downright pitiful.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Stash #84

Remove child before washing. Excellent care instruction. I love funny garment tags.

I saw this one a long time ago. Has College Boy written all over it.

Two more toy sewing machines arrived in the mail. I love this red one by Kay-an-ee. It came with an ancient spool of boilfast Coats & Clark's thread. I wonder if I should start naming these little things like I name my sewing machines? The seller said this machine belonged to her Aunt Jane, so that's an easy one.

This little black number was made in Germany. The decals are fun and it's a sturdy little thing. Inspector Gadget wants to clean it up, so no telling what it will look like once it gets its makeover.

That extra day off for the fourth of July holiday gave me a little time to shop online. I found a good sale at Quilt in a Day. They were giving away some of the stuff. Well, practically. Eleanor Burns was one of my first quilting "teachers," so I like to support her company. And by teacher, I mean her books, television shows, and videos.

It's Sunday, let's go sew!
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