Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured Four-Patches - Windmill Cathedral Window Month 2

Here is the second of the textured blocks for the Starry Bright Sky QAL!

My hints:  I found using a walking foot really helped put this block together.  When joining the folded triangles: instead of leaving the needle down and turning the fabric, it worked better for me to run the needle off the fabric then pull the fabric off and to start a new line.  I joined the four patch together then used the machine to stitch the fabric down.  I did all the stitching (so far) in one pass so stitching goes over the intersection of the four patches. To be consistent I will probably go back and add stitching so all the folds are secured (but I may do this when there is batting behind the block).

You can start to see how the blocks look together since I have finished four (of the six released) now.

If you didn't hear about the Starry Bright Sky QAL before, please visit Alida's Starry Bright Sky QAL page

There you will find all information about the quilt layout, all the future blocks and the rules to participate. And you will be able to see what all the other participants are doing for the challenge!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Pattern 2 Traditional Piecing

This month the Starry Bright Sky QAL blocks use traditional piecing.  I have just done the first one, so posting that one now...

This is a variation of the first quilt block I ever made myself (27 years ago!) - but instead of a plain star interior there is a 16-patch so it is much more interesting.

I haven't read ahead to see how we use the remaining 8 HSTs, but they are done so I included them in the photo.

Each month Alida shares several blocks, those who make one and post a photo following her directions are eligible for a drawing and will receive the next month's designs and directions via email.

Information on this QAL is posted here.

This QAL has just started, it's not too late for you to join in to make the beautiful quilt Alida has designed.  In addition to the blocks, I'm looking forward to making the extra blocks that have folds and creases in the fabric - to make textured blocks!

I've linked this post up to the group page:
Go ahead and see the pretty blocks folks are posting to the site!

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: Zigzag Lines

Another walking foot design by Leah Day - Zigzag Lines.

This design was pretty easy to do.  I started by spacing with the edge of the walking foot, then decided to use the walking foot guide to have more space between the lines.

I did draw the lines to indicate when the needle was going to be turned, but in a few cases I overshot that mark.  In those cases I tried to make the corner crisp and just did the line so it was evenly spaced from the guide line.

The bobbin ran out in the middle of the work, but I followed Leah's hints and the end and beginning of the line really does not show any interruption in the stitching - with a magnifying glass I can see, but I doubt anyone else will inspect the block that closely!

The batting this time is black, it was very firm.  I'm going to ask a friend who is going to the Pasadena conference to buy another sample pack of the batting from Hobb's hoping that I'll be able to label what battings I am using for this sampler project!

Leah's Directions are very clear - Hope you will get the book and join in the projects this year!

Started the day with a five mile walk around a local lake with a quilting friend and her dog.  Amazing how much more fun it is to walk with a friend!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Long Weekend: Yuma Arizona Feb 2018

Just got back from a nice weekend in Yuma, Arizona.

We went mainly for my two guys for the Ham Fest.  It's a conference and swap meet for people interested in ham radio.

We've been to other events like this, but this one was a nice size.  The people were for the most part very friendly too.  And they let me bring little Buffy in so that was a nice bonus (as I thought I'd either be in the car or hotel for the two days).

This is some special antenna - looked like a FMQing design to me!

Another antenna - this one almost pointing to a near earth space balloon they had set out that went I think up 9K feet.  it was traveling at 40 miles an hour - they had cameras and sensors to give them information. 

 Other organizations - t-shirts.

They had two lectures to choose from about ham radio each hour, and a very organized group of wives who also had a lecture most of the hours - on things they were interested in.  Gardening, crafts...  I didn't find out about that until the end as I didn't take a conference program.

I didn't take photos of the vendor area or the swap meet area.  Lots of things to look at, we found and bought a nice red tool chest that will help things get organized in the garage....

Most of the people were very nice, there was a variety of interests. Some that I wouldn't be interested in - living off the grid and survivalist stuff.  (And there were some negative guys with a confederate flag decal on their truck that were making strange, nasty comments about people.)

On our way back we drove thru Yuma.  This was a park by the Colorado River. Several playgrounds.  Very nice.  (I was driving so didn't get photos of the neat mid-century hotel and store signs.)

Some of the trees were filled with these singing birds!

Design by the restroom exit.

Then we stopped at the Museum of Granite.  But it really is (I think) associated with some sort of cult.  So didn't stay at all.  The entrance said welcome, but then it said all cars had to pay to pass, but they had put a piece of tape to cover the place where you'd put money and didn't say what the amount would be anyway.  We thought it was going to either be place to learn about geology or once we got closer that it would be folk art.  But it was just strange.

Buffy and son didn't even leave the car...

Then we stopped at the desert view tower.  Last time we were by the man was not in the gift shop so we didn't stay to see anything.  This time it was windy and clear - fun to go up and look around.  Click on the link to see what the front looks like (it's for sale now!)  We didn't go in the rocks to see the art work, hope to do that another trip.  It was too windy to do much walking today!

On the way back we went off the freeway and onto Historical Highway 80 so we passed thru little towns and were right next to the border with Mexico.

Our third out of town weekend this year!  Hurray!

RSC18 - February Purple and Lavender

I've been fiddling with the scraps for a few days, but finally got my RSC18 block for the month completed...

It almost looks like two blocks just sewn together, ah well.  Hopefully will look nice when someday all sewn together!

Linking up to: SoScrappy
Click to see what beautiful things the others are working on!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: Super Wobble

To get back to quilting, today I stitched my version of Leah Day's Super Wobble.

Perhaps today wasn't the best day to try this stitch.  I was impatient and the idea of having lines .5 inches apart was not appealing.

I watched the videos, marked the center and started.
After stitching the first few stitches I realized I had left the needle so it was to the left, and I was unable to see any of the markings.

I thought I could go back and add stitches so the center would be more evenly stitched.

So here is my finish.

It doesn't look anything like Leah's, but it's okay.  Took 35 minutes to quilt this.  Might be fun to try an even circle spiral. Claire said she likes to do those with walking foot.

The batting for this block is very firm.  Sure hope I'll be able to meet a Hobb's rep at a meeting or convention so I can match the batting with the name of the batting!

Martha Stewart's Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie

Can't remember why we talked about making lemon meringue pie.  Perhaps it was because our nice, new neighbor sent an email that I could/should come to her side yard and pick from her trees...

I've never made meringue before so read several recipes before deciding which version to try.  At least two made mention of making a short bread crust for the pie.  That sounded like it would be too much for me...  Then I found Martha Stewart's recipe for what she calls Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie (AKA lemon angel pie).  No crust to make. Sounded perfect.

So yesterday we started our pie making adventure.

The crust was easy to put together.  Her recipe says to bake for 40 minutes or until it was crisp and light golden on the outside.  It took our oven 60 minutes to get to this stage.  Then you are supposed to keep in the unopened oven for another hour.  (Throwing off my plans for dinner so we ordered pizza to be delivered.)

While the crust is baking there is plenty of time to make the lemon curd.  After that becomes thick you put it in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap so a skin won't form and cool that down.

Then you make whipped cream and fold that into the lemon curd - that mixture is then put into the crust.

Then I noticed the notes in the recipe to 'Refrigerate, loosely covered, at least 8 hours and up to a day.' Had misread before - thought it had said up to 8 hours not at least...

Knew it would take a long time, but had estimated we'd be eating at 11pm.

So sadly, the pie went in the frig. We played some gin rummy and Set and then went to bed, making appointments with each other to have pie and coffee at 8:30 the next morning...

I was first up so I made the final whipped cream to top the pie and got out the fancy tea plates...

The only thing is I misremembered the amount of sugar to put in the whipping cream. I put 1 cup but the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon...

It was a very sweet pie.

But very pretty and the crust was fun to have.  The extra sugar was very apparent, but it was still tasty.  (Although we were thinking it needed rice or something to absorb the sweetness.)

We think it would be good to try with chocolate pudding and bananas too.

Anyway, it was fun to make with my son and enjoy with both he and my husband.  They were pleased I think to get the heart mug rugs - and my son was sweet to make note of how wonderful the 'outside finishing seams' were.  (I had told him about my attempts at binding - he was listening!)

So this extended our Valentine's Day.  No flowers or chocolates or singing like Tu-Na Quilts.  But heart mug rugs, gin rummy and first time ever meringue lemon pie!   : )

My mom used to make individual lemon meringue and grasshopper pies for baby and wedding showers.  I remember how pretty they were, but can it be she made in cupcake pans?  We certainly had enough of those as a regular basis we would make hundreds of cupcakes for Pacific State Hospital when my brother was there.  She got on a kick of making meringue cookies, little scoops of the stuff was put on cookie sheets and left in the oven to bake even after the oven was turned off.  She experimented and put in chocolate chips one time, and mashed strawberries another.  Yummy.  She would ask me to buy her meringue cookies when she was in assisted living.  I'm sorry it never occurred to me to try to make them for her.

I mentioned the other day how we made crepes for the beginning of Mardi Gras. Found out it's called Fat Tuesday in France!  On Wednesday we noticed people with the mark of ash on their foreheads and I was reminded of the delicious Shrove Tuesday buns that I had when I was in Sweden.  We looked up the recipe so this is now on the list to make too.  It's a special bun, stuffed with ground almonds, topped with whipped cream sometimes served in a bowl of hot milk.  I only had it the one time, but it was delicious.  Again something that never occurred to me to make...  But we will now.  In the days when I was in Sweden one only had it once a year, but I was reading that now people are having every Tuesday until Easter. 

About Mardi Gras celebrations around the world

About Sweden Semla Buns

"The Semla - More Than Just a Bun

Rooted in tradition
The semla – a small, wheat flour bun, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream – has become something of a carb-packed icon in Sweden. The traditions of semla are rooted in fettisdag(Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday) when the buns were eaten at a last celebratory feast before the Christian fasting period of Lent. At first, a semla was simply a bun, eaten soaked in hot milk (known as hetvägg).

The changing face of semla
At some point Swedes grew tired of the strict observance of Lent, added cream and almond paste to the mix and started eating semla every Tuesday between Shrove Tuesday and Easter.
Today, no such reservations exist and semlor (the plural of semla) usually appear in bakery windows as near after Christmas as is deemed decent – and sometimes even before. This is followed by a collective, nationwide moan about how it gets earlier every year. Shortly thereafter people begin to eat the things like the world will end tomorrow.

But, increasingly, not just any semla will do. Every year, at around the same time that the bakeries fill with semlor, the Swedish newspapers start to fill with semla taste tests. Panels of ‘experts’ dissect and inspect tables full of semlor to find the best in town."

https://www.recepten.se/recept/semlor.html - a wealth of Swedish recipes!  I hadn't thought about this food in so long.  The translations are fun, but with all the photos I think will be easy to follow and make. I didn't really cook when I was in Sweden - I took weekly cooking classes while I was there, but I wasn't a cook.  So the names of things were lost to me.  Oh, but I remember with fondness seeing the food and the taste! What fun we had going to bakeries for coffee and sweets.  I like the way the amounts of the ingredients are listed at the beginning and then again in the directions too. 

Martha Stewart on the other hand has a system where the ingredients are listed on the left (with links to lots of ads for different places to buy things) and only the names of things are the directions.  " Topping: Whip cream and sugar with a mixer" is on page 2 when printed out, the amounts are listed on page 3. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day - Mug Rugs

During Carol's Put a Little Love in Your Quilt BlogHop, Karen at Tu-Na Quilts shared a project for making a cute mug rug. (She has the link to the pattern in the caption of the photo.)

So instead of buying chocolate for my husband and son, I made them each a coffee mug from me! I used scraps that were out from the project I did for the BlogHop.

But for the binding, I had to pull out some other fabric.  I cut it 2 inches wide as Leah suggests for machine binding.  I was going to try hand stitching, but chickened out!  The backs are the initial triangles from when I made the binding for the BlogHop project.

Leah Day: Info on applying binding by machine

Sew Very Easy:  Folding at start, makes it easy to do the start and end of the binding on a small item.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8qzeOczXEo  Instead of folding and cutting the initial fold I just folded.

I'm working on using the walking foot with Leah Day this year.  For quilting I outlined the mug, handle and heart.  The batting is my first cut into the huge roll of insulated batting that I got a few years ago at a quilt shop fire sale.

Hope my guys will use their gifts at work and think of me!  
They didn't receive this morning as I was still working on finishing them when they left for work. 

Thank you again to Karen at Tu-Na Quilts for sharing her project that inspired me to make these Valentine mug rugs.

Not Quilting

Yesterday made crepes for Mardi Gras.

Used my mom's recipe:

Earlier I had made apple sauce so that and sour cream was inside each one.  I made them in the afternoon then put a sheet of parchment paper (my mom used waxed paper) between each and put in the frig.  When ready to eat just put in a warm oven for a while and serve.

My friend from quilting class told me her family made for Mardi Gras so I decided to make for us too!

Today going to make Martha Stewart's upside down lemon merinque pie.  I've never made before, but this recipe was appealing as I could skip making the crust!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: Gridlines

Another Leah Day Walking Foot Design: Gridlines.

In addition to the videos, I have her Explore Walking Foot book and am finding it to be a good resource too.

With her directions this was easy, although time consuming to do.  The Hobbs batting sample is very firm and I think that made it easier to quilt (although I'm not sure).



This design sort of reminded me of a mattress pad or the pre-quilted fabric my mom and I bought for projects.  I know Leah has some exciting places where it will show up!