Monday, December 30, 2013

In A Bind

I was cutting bias binding strips for a quilt several weeks ago and decided to try to match the striped pattern so that it wouldn't be so obvious where the seams were. Not perfect, but close enough. Do I really need to spend my time doing this? Probably not, but I know it would bug me if I didn't do it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Multiplying Scraps

This is all that's left from 16 fat quarters and 2 1/2 yards of flannel that I used for my BFF's quilt (see the finished quilt here). I told my friend that I may make a scrappy pillow to go along with the quilt, but she'll probably have to wait until next Christmas to get it! OK, maybe I'll make it in time for her birthday in May, but no promises.

Although my plastic totes of fat quarters and yardage are a bit emptier, I'm afraid my scrap piles keep getting bigger!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Present

I got a new sewing machine for Christmas!

When my son was home from college during Thanksgiving, I told him that all I wanted for Christmas was a Lego sewing machine. What you see in the photo is what he came up with using Legos from his ginormous collection of pieces. He didn't have any curved pieces that were white, so he improvised with what he had. 

If you have a Lego builder in your house, he/she can make one for you, too, using this tutorial.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From Me To You

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and Best Wishes for a healthy, happy, and fun-filled 2014 to all!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Moosewood Monday (not)

I haven't blogged much about Moosewood Restaurant recipes lately because I haven't made anything new. I've just re-made several of our favorite Moosewood dishes in the last few months, so there aren't any new recipes to share.

But I am showing something new -- a recipe that I made up a few years ago for Chunky Creamy Tomato Soup. It's been popular with family and friends, so I thought I'd share it here.

1 24-26 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes, Italian style
1 pound Italian sausage or ground beef, browned
1 cup beef broth
2 Tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
handful of fresh basil, chopped
oregano, pepper to taste
12 ounces evaporated milk or half-and-half
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
some cooked small pasta (I use ditalini)

In large soup pot, combine spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, browned meat, beef broth, sugar, basil, oregano, and pepper. Simmer for about an hour. Add evaporated milk or half-and-half and mozzarella cheese. Add some water or more half-and-half if too thick. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or so or until cheese has melted. Add cooked pasta and heat for a couple more minutes. you can experiment with other meat if you like -- my last batch had sliced Hillshire Farm Cheddarwurst sausages (no need to brown).

I've also made this in a crockpot. Just combine all the ingredients except for cheese and pasta and cook on low for several hours until hot. Add the cheese and pasta about ten minutes before serving.

For some crunch, I made Parmesan Ranch Chex Mix as a topping (click here for the recipe).

This has been a keeper recipe of mine for a number of years. Yum!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


This is the finished  flannel quilt for my BFF that I've been blogging about in a couple of recent posts. It's approximately 54" x 70" -- a perfect size for watching TV.

And here's the pieced backing -- a mish mash of red and green yardage and leftovers from the front.

I did a large meander stitch all over the whole thing...nothing fancy, I just wanted to get it finished quickly...

And all of the fabrics came from my pre-2013 stash (and at yard sale prices, too!). That's at least another 6.5 yards used up!

It's all washed and dried and now on the way to its new owner. Boy, does that feel good!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Deadline

I've given myself a deadline of getting this quilt in the mail to my BFF on Thursday of this week. It's the quilt that I started a little more than a week ago (read my blog post about it here). There's a lot of binding to sew on by hand, so I've got a long list of shows to watch on Netflix all planned.

I think deadlines are good for me...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Met The Deadline...

...but it didn't matter, after all.

The trunk show that I was supposed to participate in was held, but I couldn't go due to nasty winter weather in the forecast.

This is the quilt that I rushed to finish in time...(indoor light doesn't do the quilt justice, I'm afraid)...

I made these twelve blocks during a modern quilt block-of-the-month series on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog a few years ago (July 2011 through June 2012), using red, black, and white fabrics left over from a quilt that I had made for my son as a high school graduation/going off to college quilt in the summer of 2010 (I blogged about that quilt here and you can see the fabrics I used here).

The twelve blocks sat around for quite a while, but I finally decided on a layout and put the top together earlier this fall. Technically, I didn't use a pattern, but just figured it out -- it's basically the BQ2 pattern from Maple Island Quilts. My main blocks were 12 inches finished, so I just did the math and figured out what size to cut the gray and white fabrics around each block, based on pictures I found online.

Here's a closeup look at the randomly-spaced straight-line quilting...

And here's a photo of my son's's now in its fourth year of use! (Yikes, where does the time go?) I like to think that my son will take this with him wherever he winds up after graduation, and now I'll have my own quilt that will remind me of him when he's far from home. But I'm not going to think about that right now.

Monday, December 9, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Oh, well, the trunk show that I was supposed to be a part of yesterday took place without me  : (

The weather forecast called for a messy drive home, with a good part of it in the dark, so my friends and I decided we'd rather be safe than sorry, and we stayed home. But at least that gave us time to sew! Like I said, make lemonade.

I started a new project that just popped into my head on Saturday. A dear friend of mine is having some health issues, and in an email I received from her that day, she said that one of the side effects of her new medication is that she gets cold a lot more quickly than she used to. This is quite a turnaround from when she and I were roommates in college....she was the one opening windows and running around in pajama shorts all winter, while I was freezing! Anyway, she said she has to get a flannel blanket or something for watching TV...Well, you know what happens when someone says that to a quilter....

We get out our fabric stash and see what we can come up with! 

I found 16 flannel fat quarters and some flannel yardage that will work for the top and the backing of a quick quilt. And look at the empty space that leaves in my fat quarter tote!

I'm giving myself a deadline to get a finished quilt in the mail to her before Christmas!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nothing Like a Deadline

I have a deadline to finish this quilt for a trunk show by Sunday morning. I just started the quilting last night, finished it before lunch today, and now there are 250+ inches of binding to sew on, first by machine, then by hand.

I guess housecleaning will have to wait, yet again....Darn.