Monday, December 31, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Here's my last Moosewood Restaurant recipe for's their Scallop Chowder. I used the small bay scallops and added some imitation crab meat (the kind made from pollock and some crab). My family likes to have some chunks of veggies in the soup, so I remove about half of them before I use my immersion blender for the other half and then add them back to the soup along with the scallops and crab. We all agreed that this recipe is a keeper.

You can find the recipe I used here. To see the other Moosewood recipes I've shared in the past, click here. And if you're not familiar with the Moosewood, check them out here.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Finish for 2012

I've been working on a number of projects recently, but these were the official last finished projects for 2012. Fun Christmas pillowcases that I sent to a couple of young children in the family.

Thank you all for reading my blog throughout the years and stay tuned for more finishes in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012


As I was decorating our fireplace for Christmas, I had to move this guy...he was a sewing project that my son made in 6th grade....nine years ago. I was quite impressed when Nick brought this home and told me that it was all hand-stitched.

I wonder if he still remembers how to sew on a button?...I doubt it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Is Over?

I know that some people like to put their Christmas trees and other decorations away immediately after Christmas and you won't hear a single Christmas song on the radio or in stores after December 25th, but the twelve days of Christmas go through Epiphany. Why should the Christmas spirit disappear as soon as the presents are opened and the ham is served on the 25th?

Anyway, I'm still blogging about Christmas stuff, so here's an ornament I made this year. Quite simple. I basically used this tutorial for the petals.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate and Happy Festivus to the rest!

May we all have a peaceful and stress-free 2013!
(click on the photo to see a larger view of my 2012 finishes)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sushi, Anyone?

Well, not the real thing...just leftover binding sushi....

A few years ago, I started rolling my leftover binding pieces and this is what it looks like now. I wonder how long I can keep this up.

Here's a closeup shot...Lots of pretty colors...Looks almost good enough to eat.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Party Goodies

These are the fun fabrics that I came home with after my guild's holiday party earlier this week. Very nice additions to my batik stash.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Party Time!

In my previous post, I showed what I created using leftover yarn and water-soluble stabilizer. What you see here today is what I'm taking to my guild's holiday party this evening. The "fabric" that I created is used as gift wrapping for the two fat quarters for our gift exchange. I rolled up the FQ's and wrapped them in the style of an English Christmas cracker. I'm hoping that the person who goes home with this package re-uses the wrapping for someone else.

In recent years, guild members have been more excited about the gift wrapping than the FQ's themselves. I can't wait to see what the gift table looks like tonight!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Creative Stitching

Edited -- 8:45AM -- I've linked this post on Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday. Check it out to see what other interesting fiber projects are out there.

After creating a fun scarf with Christmas yarn and water-soluble stabilizer a couple of months ago (see my blog post here), I decided to try something different to use up the remaining yarn. What you see in the above photo is the yarn sewn with a zigzag stitch on to a piece of stabilizer (about the size of a regular sheet of paper).

What you see below is what both sides look like after the stabilizer has been washed out.

Stay tuned to see what I used this for...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If I Had A Million Dollars...

...I'd buy me a second quilting machine....

Of course, the natural question to ask is why do I need a second quilting machine...

The answer is because I find that my quilt tops fall into two categories -- those that just need simple quilting (meandering, loops, etc) and those that require more custom quilting (different designs in the sashing, blocks, borders, etc).

Right now I have a whole lot of tops that need the simple quilting and only one or two that are screaming for custom quilting. I am also itching to make more tops, but I promised myself that I would not even touch the sewing machine for that until I get at least a couple of the finished tops quilted.

About a month ago, I loaded one of the tops that needs custom quilting and...a month later it was still on the frame, without a single stitch of quilting on it. All I did all month was stare at it and think about quilting designs, but never settled on anything. Having a second machine would take care of the issue. I could load the custom quilt on one machine and it could sit there indefinitely and then I would use the second one for the easy stuff. But that's not gonna happen...

So, because I really want to make more tops, I decided to take the custom quilt off of the frame (it's not for anyone in particular with no real deadline) and load a different top that only requires easy quilting. I feel so much better...

I'll get to the custom quilt someday...and I promise I won't wait until I get a million dollars....

P.S. Oh, yes, and if I had a million dollars, I'd get maid service as well....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Christmas Shopping?

If you're still not finished with your holiday gift shopping, why not do it from the comfort of your own home, perhaps in your PJs and with a cup of coffee or tea? Or maybe you're finished with your shopping, but you deserve a gift for yourself.

A wonderful place to find quality hand-made little quilts is the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative page. The page explains everything you need to know about buying a fun quilt or two and about the funds raised for Alzheimer's research.

The little quilt you see in the photo above is a mug rug that I made and donated to AAQI in honor of my friend Susan's birthday a couple of months ago. It is for sale on the AAQI website here. You can also see other quilts for sale made by members of my local quilt guild here.

Buying a gift that helps raise money for a good cause is always a good thing....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catching Up

I just realized that I never posted a photo of my finished Jane Stickle quilt. This is what it looked like on display at my quilt guild's exhibit this past September. Someday, perhaps next spring, I will try to get a more professional photo of it in better lighting.

If you'd like to see all of my other blog posts about making this quilt, just click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And The Winner Is....

Well, not's not a blue ribbon, but a rosette nonetheless. I had some stiff competition in my category and all three of the quilts that beat me were hand-quilted (exquisitely, I may add). So I'm in good company.

If you'd like to see a slideshow of all the winning quilts from my guild's September exhibit, check out the slideshow here. And you can see some of the winning quilters and their smiles here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Yes, I'm at it again. But I can't help it. Winter is the perfect time to try new soup and stew recipes. This time it's Savannah Sweet Potato Bisque from the Moosewood Restaurant (where else?) in Ithaca, NY. I used this recipe here (scroll all the way down on that page to find the recipe for the soup). I made just one change -- I didn't have any pimentos, so I just substituted diced red bell peppers and cooked them with the veggies. Roasted red peppers would be good, too. The next time I make this, I'll top it off with croutons, but this time around I just added some (leftover from Thanksgiving) french fried onions.

Served with pork BBQ on a foldup piece of flatbread and a glass of The Rut red wine from Benezette Winery in Benezette, PA.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Come In From The Cold

I blogged about this quilt several weeks ago (see my blog post about it here), but I thought I'd show it again because the tickets for it go on sale tomorrow.

I made this for the Friends of the Green Free Library in Wellsboro, PA for a raffle fundraiser. The Friends are hosting a reception (11:00AM - 2:00PM) at the library during Wellsboro's Dickens of a Christmas celebration tomorrow, where the quilt will be on display.

If you're in town for Dickens and need a place to warm up, stop in at the Green Free Library for hot cider and cookies. And while you're there, buy some tickets for this fun quilt. Tickets are $1 each, 6/$5 and the drawing will be held on March 2, 2013!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warms My Heart

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the local school's Colonial Days' observation (see my previous post about it here). A few days later, I received a wonderful package in the mail containing thank-you notes from one of the classes. Reading them brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart.

I was especially thrilled to see this letter....

Every time I talk about my quilts to groups of children, I make it a point to mention that in the 21st century, quilting is not just "for girls". I show them a copy of The Quilt Life magazine with Ricky Tims on the cover and tell them that there are a lot of male quilters who make fun quilts. It helps that Ricky always wears a cowboy hat!

Anyway, I'm thrilled at the letter sent by "my friend Spencer". And actually, I love all the letters! Thank you, second graders of Wellsboro -- Maybe someday I'll see one of your quilts in a show!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Here's yet another recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. This time it's Caribbean Shrimp and Vegetable Soup. I used this recipe. Only a couple of changes -- I used a can of Rotel tomatoes with chili peppers instead of the fresh tomatoes and chili pepper and I was out of turmeric, so I left it out. That's OK, it's mainly for color.

Another thumbs up from my hubby and me. And it went perfectly with some quesadillas and a glass of Mango Slide wine from Nimble Hill Winery in Tunkhannock, PA.

And for those who are wondering...Yes, we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner...

P.S. One word of warning...if you choose to use the can of Rotel tomatoes, be prepared for a very, very, spicy soup. If you don't like your food so spicy, just use regular tomatoes and add your chili pepper to taste.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sewing For Health

Back in August, I blogged about getting neckroll pillow forms and covering them with fabric (see my blog post here). These pillows have turned out to be very good for preventing neck pain for my husband and me when we read or watch TV.

The fabrics I used were leftovers of flannels from six (!) previous quilts and five regular square pillows. The scraps were all different widths, so that's why the design is asymmetrical. There are no more large pieces left, but I might be able to make one more cover for a regular square pillow. Not sure about the backing for it, though.

You can see a picture of the entire bed quilt on my blog post here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers....

And I wish peace to everyone, no matter where you live. Thank you for reading my blog.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November UFO Challenge Complete

My guild's president issued a UFO challenge to our members last month -- we were to list six UFO's that we had sitting around and give her the list. Every month for the next six months (except for December), she will pull out a number, from one to six, and we are supposed to finish the UFO that matches that number on our list by the next month's meeting. Every time we complete a UFO, our names will be entered into a future drawing. This was a great way to get me moving on some projects that I've had for way too long.

 The first one is this jelly roll 1600 race quilt top that I finished last November. It's made from strips of vintage sheets from local thrift stores.

Here's a closeup of my favorite way to quilt strippy quilts...

I used a vintage sheet for the back...

This one will be going to a charity...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Moosewood Monday

I can't help myself -- I am addicted to trying new Moosewood Restaurant recipes. And thankfully, I have a husband who enjoys eating food with exotic and interesting flavors as much as I do.

This time it's Mushroom Peanut Tofu Stew With Greens (minus the tofu). My friend Madalene told me about this recipe (she used tofu and said it was delicious), so I thought I'd give it a try, with just a few changes. I used pork instead of tofu, frozen spinach instead of fresh, and I added a dried chili pepper from our summer garden. I didn't add the full amount of water because we wanted it to be thick enough to serve over rice. I think this would work just as well with chicken.

This, along with a glass of Nimble Hill Winery's Niagara wine, was delightful!

To see previous yummy Moosewood recipes I've shared, click here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UFO Forever

 Every November for the last seven years (or maybe more), the local second grade teachers have invited me to speak about quilting to their students during their week-long observation of Colonial Days. It's basically a trunk show of my quilts (the teachers said they don't care if I've used a machine on them instead of making everything by hand like in "the olden days"), with a brief explanation of the process of making a quilt.

The quilt in these photos is the one I use to show a quilt sandwich and to demo a bit of hand quilting. I started it back in either 2000 or 2001 when I was very much a beginner. I soon discovered that I didn't really like the quilt and didn't really like my hand quilting efforts, so I just put it away and didn't think about it until the first time I participated in Colonial Days. The fact that it's not finished makes it perfect for the demo.

My ten-year-old stitches in a ten-year-old UFO are nothing to brag about, but they serve their purpose. It helps give the students an idea of what a quilt is and what makes a quilt different from a "blanket".

So, this quilt will remain a UFO and I won't feel bad about that. Hopefully, the second grade will keep inviting me back and I'll have the perfect excuse not to finish it! Actually, though, seeing the top photo makes me like it better than I thought. I kind of like the design, but the fabrics...not so much.