Saturday, August 25, 2012

Texting While Sewing

I said I would join in on Texting While Sewing awhile ago because I wanted to challenge myself to do something with a text print. Then it came around to making the block and I got a little nervous looking at all of the amazing paper pieced blocks on flickr. I finally realized I just needed to do my own thing and A to Z came to me. It's a wonky log cabin with all the colors and patterns I love. I can see this in a fun kids quilt with solid blocks and more log cabins. This is the first block I've ever made that didn't have a place to go we'll have to see where it ends up. 

You can still join in if you want to. Make your own 12" block write a post or link via flickr to join in the Linky party over at Amy's Made During Quiet Time the 27th,28th,and 29th. She will pick her top 10, or more depending on entries, and Judges Kerry (aka verykerryberry) and Ayumi (aka pinkpenguin) will pick the final winners. I can't wait to see the results. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

August Book Club

This book is set post Rapture. It's a very intriguing idea and gives the author so many different scenarios to work with. Imagine one day half your family is gone or one child and one parent or what if your family is left whole. That's where this story begins. Set in one suburb it follows the different paths people take in the aftermath. What if people taken are from all religions, backgrounds, and maybe not always nice people. It shatters a lot of beliefs and leaves people struggling to figure out how to go on. We found out the book is meant to be a dark comedy but most of our book club didn't take it that way although there are funny parts. The writing was really good and we were all wrapped up in the characters. The author Tom Perrotta makes some really interesting choices by leaving the reader just as in the dark as the characters, you don't really know what or why it happened. We were all a little let down by the ending and left wanting more resolution but I feel like that goes along with the theme of the book. Why should he tie it all up for us when nobody really knows what's going to happen in a future that has experienced what could be the Rapture. Should you read it? I think so although it's definitely dark at times I found it really engrossing and you wont look at cigarettes the same way again. In a pole with our group though only 2 out of 9 said they would recommend it to someone so it's definitely not for everyone it's like the anti summer read. 

Next month we're reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This is a non fiction book and looks to be a really good one!! 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Need More Time?

I know I do especially this week when we're going on a trip next week right before school starts (mental note stop planning trips like this!). Well one thing that's been helping me so much with time are some techniques from Madame Samm. I know I've mentioned her before and if you still haven't visited her site you should. She's about sharing, teaching, and supporting quilters of all kinds and her time management tips have really hit home with me. So grab a timer, yes you'll need one, and see if it works for you. 
 Here is Madame Samm's part 2 if you want to continue.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Chicken Update

It's been awhile but the chickens are still going strong. A few things I've learned once the thrill wears off. 

Out of the run enjoying the grass.

It's pretty easy! Besides cleaning out the hay every so often the daily maintenance is a piece of cake. 
The chickens really respond to us! When we've gone out of town egg production slacks off. We're not petting them or anything special but we spend a  little more time talking to them, or at least I do, and giving them scraps. 
Going out of town requires a good house/dog/fish/chicken sitter. Sometimes it's hard to find someone that can do it. I also find my husband constantly worrying the sitter will forget to put the chickens away at night. 
There are a lot of flies in the summer!! A LOT! We finally put up a fly bag it's gross but it's full of flies. 
This morning Coco was being really vocal because she didn't like it that we slept in and hadn't let her into the run. I was not happy! 
It's all worth it though not just having the eggs but the whole experience. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meet-Up!

I am just back from a jam packed weekend full of sewing, fabric, and lots of new friends! It's a little something the three Modern Quilt Guild boards have been working on for awhile and it seemed like so far away. We met the Vancouver BC and Seattle Modern Quilt Guilds in Seattle for a fun three days. There was laughing, sewing, shopping, eating, sweating, shopping, and a few well deserved cocktails to be sure. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!

This is the Meet and Greet that Heather and I spearheaded. We had about 40 people and some fun giveaways. So fun getting to meet people in person you know so well in blogs and meet new people. 

Above is I think the only picture of our board together my partners in quilting Ale (programs), Me (secretary), Nancy (treasurer), Heather (VP), and Susan (President). Saturday we went to a Sew In at Island Quilter a beautiful store on Vashon Island. With 10 Berninas and lots of fabric donated by Robert Kaufman and Guild Members we completed 8 quilt tops to be donated to different charities.

Sunday was a shop hop and after my haul at Island Quilter I didn't think I'd find anything else but oh was I wrong! 
At Drygoods Design Katie from Poppyprint caught in action. The store had so many great touches everywhere you looked. 
Fabrics on the left came from Island Quilter, Drygoods Design, West Seattle Fabric Company, and The Quilting Loft. The fabric on the right is from Okan Arts where Patrica imports traditional Japanese fabrics I can't wait to work with these. 

With all of the fun activity's it was a busy weekend but the best part was all of the friends and really making connections with the other guilds. We are a lucky bunch up here in the Northwest with so many creative fun people!!  


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cheesecake Bars GF

It's been awhile since I have done any gluten-free posts but it is a big part of my life as I love food and baking and I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 19 years ago. I'm sorry this isn't a great photo but I realized I didn't have one and the dessert was quickly disappearing. I came up with this recipe when I needed to make something for a party and didn't really want to go to the store. We had a ton of fresh berries from our neighbor but not enough to do a cobbler but we did have cream cheese. I tweaked a pecan crust recipe I have used for awhile and combined it with a cheesecake filling I also changed and the result was a big success. 

Pétra's Cheesecake Bars GF!

2 Eggs
16 oz Cream Cheese softened 
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

2 1/4 cups Pecans 
2/3 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon 
2 tablespoons GF flour mix
1/4-1/2 Butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Grind nuts in a food processor to a fine chop but not meal. Add all the dry ingredient's and pulse to blend. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Depending on the flour mix you use (I used a little Pamela's pancake mix) and natural oils in the nuts you may choose to add more melted butter until the mix holds shape well. Pat mixture into a 9x13 cake pan and chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
To help with lumps in your cream cheese smoosh it with a spoon or spatula in the bottom of a medium size bowl. Next add all the other ingredient's and blend with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. I've made this a few times and once I did have small lumps but they disappeared with baking so don't worry if you have some.
Pour filling into prepared crust pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Middle will puff up when it's ready. Remove from oven and cool. Top with your favorite berries, a drizzle of caramel or nothing at all. Enjoy!


Monday, August 6, 2012

A Voile Birthday Quilt

Whew what a trip! I am not sure how we packed so much into a week. Good news is I was able to finish my Birthday quilt just in the nick of time, oh what Birthday quilt you say? I was so busy trying to squeeze it in I didn't even get to tell you about it. It started with a pile of Voile I had been hoarding saving for awhile and ended with a marathon binding session. Our trip was to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Sacramento, attend their CD release party, and celebrate our 15th Anniversary. I don't really think Aunt is appropriate for Katie though because she's only 7 years older then me but she is turning 50 and my Uncle is turning 60 so of course I though I'll just whip up a little quilt for them. Here are some process photos.

Up on the design wall

Finished top at Guild meeting

Quilting with the walking foot

I used Quilters Dream Orient batting which has such a great weight

Back made with leftovers

If only I had my better camera

It's perfect with their new couch!

 The voile was the perfect choice because Katie and Richie have a cool vintage meets modern style and I think voile has a great vintage fabric feel. I had two weeks and spent most of the Sisters trip cutting fabric and then finishing the top in time for our guild meeting. Somehow I quilted it in a day with just simple random straight line quilting. The binding happened in the car thanks to my husband who drove the 9 1/2 hours on his own while I sat next to him sewing away. I seriously finished about 20 minutes from their house with only minimal hand cramping. A big thank you also goes to my son Avery for understanding one more delay in me finishing his quilt!

Quilt Stats 
  • Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Little Folks, Amy Butler Laurel Dots, Valori Wells from the Wrenley and Cocoon collections. Solids all Cotton Couture Orchid, Blossom, Aqua, and Khaki.
  • Size: 55" x 65"
  • Binding: C.C. Khaki
  • Batting: Quilters Dream Orient a blend of Silk, Bamboo, Tencil, and Cotton
  • Design: Me  
  • Working with Voile: I didn't have a hard time at all and I was expecting to. I think a walking foot is a must for quilting though. 
I had meant to make a quilt for myself with the voile and now I will definitely be making another one it finishes so soft and snuggly!