Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tale of Two Frogs....

 I love these frogs SOOOOO much....I ordered four yards when they became available at Fat Quarter Shop along with this:
Seriously an AWESOME fat quarter bundle...thinking I could make a great quilt with all that I ordered.

But I seriously have this thing about color...and noticed very quickly that most of the colors in the fat quarter bundle were based on the teal colorway and the Prince Charming fabric I purchased was based on the olive colorway...yes, they'd work together if I pushed it...but not my optimal situation.

So guess what I did?

Yup...I ordered four yards of the Prince Charming fabric in the teal colorway and am impatiently stalking the UPS man for my box.

I'm thinking I'll use the Prince Charming fabric in the olive colorway to make one of Amy Butler's cute jackets...but I'll need three yards for the lining....

Now don't you'll go and tell my husband that I've ordered so much fabric...he'll just die!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love that frog!

Just had to have that frog from the first moment I saw him..and I'm not a frog person.  He's just way too cute!

And of course I just had to have the matching fat quarter set...wouldn't you?

Now I need to figure out what do to with it....thinking...thinking...thinking...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Managing Your Fabric Expense

Managing your fabric expense is something we all need to do these days unless you're one of the RHOC (and this is not admitting I watch that show), as the price of fabric is over $10.00/yard in most places.

But is that possible?

Yes, I can do it if I don't buy any new fabric...and my stash can support doing that for quite a while.

But in all reality, do I want to do that? Not taste in fabric today is quite different than when I started quilting a few years back. I have batiks and civil war fabrics that I will probably never use as I know think they're dark and depressing.  I want happy...but not bright...and I'm just now getting that in my stash.

Leaves me with a whole bunch of fabric I won't probably use and a desire for new fabric.  How do I manage that?

Fabric exchanges....yes, I do fabric exchanges...and then, on top of it, share fabric with other quilters that I know I have that they need.

The blue batiks are for a friend who has designed a very special quilt, but doesn't have any of the batiks in her stash to play I'm sharing.

The patriotic fabric is for a Fat Quarter Swap I'm doing with a FaceBook group.  My swap partner this month is actively involved with Quilts of Valor, and I thought she might enjoy these fabrics.

All it costs me is the cost of return I'll get some new fabric to play with.

PS: I have been known to share my candy stash in the packages...sweet!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sewing Machine = New Tupperware Parties?

My husband brought me home the Wall Street Journal from last Thursday, thinking I would be really, really interested an article since it had pictures of sewing machines (well, at least he thinks of me).

The article talked about how the economy is turning younger and younger women back to sewing, what was once thought of as something for "older people", and how sewing machines are becoming modernized with more stitches and computerized downloading capabilities.

What grabbed me most about this article wasn't more people sewing, the upgrading of the sewing machine, or WalMart reinstituting fabric on their floors, but the fact that women were hosting "sewing parties".  A sewing party is very similar to the oldtime Tupperware, Princess House, or Pampered Chef home party, but the merchandise to be sold is sewing machines.  The draw to the party: a chance to actually learn how to sew on various machines and a 15% discount of the machine of your choosing, with the hostess of the party earning 20% of a discount on the purchase of a sewing machine.

Wow! Where have I been? I've never heard of such a thing! Yes, I have the apps downloaded on my iPhone that they discussed (Fabric Stash, etc.), but having your friends together with sewing machines? I definitely have been out of the loop!

While I admit the fabric at JoAnn's or WalMart is definitely cheaper, I remain adamant about not purchasing from these's a question of getting what you pay for.  I'd rather swap with friends or wait until I can afford better fabric, threads and supplies...but sewing parties - I'll definitely go there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Have Chosen

I auditioned several threads...both quilted and became very obvious what this quilt needed.

Presenting the quilting thread for the Postage Stamp Quilt:
   King Tut #921 - Cleopatra

Won't this thread look awesome with the Spirit fabric?????

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Busy Day

He always asks what I do during the day...

It's never what he wants me to do...

But then again sometimes I just don't feel like doing whatever tasks he deems important.

Like today...he wants me to unpack the boxes from my former place of employment currently stacked in the garage...

Instead I chose to:

- Take the dogs on our traditional morning McDonalds run (don't tell him that they get Sausage Biscuits when they go)

- Came back home to drop the dogs back at the house.

- Went to drop-off/pick-up his drycleaning.

- Went to the bank to deposit the check.

- Drove through Del Taco to get a large Diet Coke (very important)

- Went to Borders to see if they had the 100 blocks quilting magazine out...but of course they didn't.  I did pick up the 2011 Summer/Spring Shop Hop pretty great quilt that I might put in the que to do.

- Trader Joe's for dinner stuff - I couldn't really decide what to make, so I picked up the stuff for porkchops with mustard blueberry sauce, turkey burgers, and terriyaki chicken.

- Sewed all the rows together on the Postage Stamp Quilt.

- Brought the desktop computer from the studio upstairs to be repaired (the dvd player doesn't work....and I can't quilt without it.  I simply must listen to The Long Hot Summer while quilting...isn't this the rule?)

All of this was before noon...and then I sat down and had the carrot cake bundtini for lunch.

Left on my list (notice I didn't say his list):

- Setting back up the patio furniture as it's beautiful out today.

- Pinning some of the rows together for the postage stamp quilt.

And, you might ask what does the rose have to do with all of this?  I saw it as I walked up the front steps from my's a mini rose bush sitting right besides the front door.  It's just too beautiful not to share!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

And mushy, very mushy!

Those brown bananas on the counter that no one wants to eat that you just can't through'd be wasting food.

So what do you do with them?


You make banana bread or cake..but today I'm sharing my all-time favorite banana bread recipe...the one that you can't wait to pull from the oven and eat because it just smells so good...the one you have to stand watch over once you've taken it from the oven otherwise the husband will start pulling pieces from it while in the hot pan...get the picture?

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread -
       Adapted from Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking (1993)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (2 medium) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream (don't use non-fat or low-fat here folks...go for the full leaded stuff)
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup minature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Original Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour bottom only of one 9x5 or two 8x4-inch loaf pans.  In large bowl, combine sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy.  Add bananas, sour cream and eggs; blend well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt; blend well.  Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour into greased and floured pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Note: If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can just through all the ingredients together in the bowl and turn it on for a few'll get the same me here!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

She's A Big Girl Now...

It had to come some day...
She's a big girl now....
She's a third year nursing student...fourth year starts in August.

And she's not coming home.

She has her own apartment (an old victorian-ish apartment) on the third floor with a great view of the city. She had friends help her move in last Friday.

She has a job for the summer working at a homeless shelter...a real job that pays money. 

And she's not coming home for the summer.

I think I'm OK with that...she had to get her own place at some point.

She has a kitchen table...and a microwave...and a refrigerator (but please Mom would you send the extra dishes?)

She has a sofa (Mom, I picked it up at the used furniture store...could you sew me a slip cover? Yours are so much better than what the store has).

She has a bed (Mom, you know that fabric I picked out for my quilt? Well, could you change it to black and white? It'll go better with my bedframe).

Oh my...I don't know if I am really ready for this.....

Besides...what's up with that pink door? I really, really must get her to do something about that!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along Continued

I joined up for the Postage Stamp Quilt-Along a few months ago...and, of course, I didn't finish in the time allotted. However, I am determined not to let this project become a WIP (Work-in-Progress) staying on my shelf for ever and ever, finally hiding in the big black cabinet so I don't see it and feel guilty about not finishing it. I keep on telling myself it can't be enjoyed, it's warmth and friendship appreciated and loved if it's not here I am determined to finish no matter how many weeks behind I am and the fact the Quilt Along is long finished...
So to continue...
 Step #3: Patchwork
Ms. Rachel's oh-so-polite directions were to:
- Grab the strip sets you made during Step #2: Legwork and cut them into 2.5 inch segments.
- Take all those little segments you cut and make 48 blocks...24 light and 24 dark.

But Ms. Rachel, you said nothing about:
-Pinning those blocks together so your seams perfectly match. Don't you know pins are your friends in this situation if you want your seams to play nicely together? I sat and pinned all fourty-eight blocks before sewing...and yes, I did it until the cows came home!
- Pressing the blocks once sewn together so your seams lay flat and properly? How do I proceed if I don't press my blocks? Press once the whole quilt top is together? Hmmm...just don't go there with me. Just saying, I did press all my blocks...and it may or may not have been while I was watching the Real Housewifes of Orange County rerun this week.

p.s.: They are not REAL housewifes of Orange County, take it from me as I do live in Orange County.

I am proudly reporting completion of all fourty-eight (48) blocks...and they are even pressed!

Step #3 Patchwork is COMPLETED! YEAH!

Step #4: Construction Work
Ms. Rachel's oh-so-polite directions were to take all fourty-eight (48) of those blocks you just finished and assemble into a 6x8 layout to your liking, making sure to alternating the light and dark blocks, and sew them together...thus completing your quilt a week.

Hmmm...Ms Rachel, we seriously need to talk.  I need to take all the blocks down to the studio, lay them out on my design board to my liking and then PIN them together so my seams meet all pretty and nice as I don't like to do any reverse sewing...especially once the top is being assembled.  And what about pressing each row as you assemble so it lays flat for quilting?

I'm thinking I have until the cows come home to get this part you know there are actually a herd of cows on the acreage behind the house, Ms Rachel?  They were up here last night to the delight of the dogs, who had fun running and barking with 11:00PM at night.  So maybe another two weeks to get the top done? That's when the cows should show up next...

So now I'm sitting here again with two piles of blocks, lights and darks, in front of me with my medium bin of applique pins (it grew last week) so I can pin the seams together correctly before sewing them together...and I may or may not be watching Dr. Phil and enjoying a piece of carrot bundt cake while doing so...

PS: if you want to join in on the fun with me...or just want a great's the link to Rachel's blog: Take a moment to look around, enjoying her quilts and great recipes.

Today is a Good Day!

What could be better than finding a beautiful rose in your garden?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Free Cake for A Year

Last Friday I checked my cell phone around 9:00 AM, as I hadn't heard it go off all morning...definitely unusual for my phone...usually chirping away with notifications of messages.
Good thing I did...April had messaged me the night before, telling me there was a local cake shop opening and they were giving away free cake for the year.

I was soooooo there! (But then again, this may or may not have included driving to the wrong shopping center and having to call April to get the correct location once again!)
Nothing Bundt Cakes is giving me FREE CAKE FOR A YEAR because I was one of the first fifty people in line with any purchase (really because April made me get there in time to be one of the first fifty people).
I must admit...after having quite a few "fails" in the cupcake department lately...I was quite pleased with their product.
It's not a cupcake, it's a bundt cake....and boy are they YUMMY!

During our wait in line, they gave out samples for their chocolate bundt and lemon bundt cakes...too awesome to describe. Let's just say the cake is moist and flavorful, the icing is true creamcheese...just enough to accent the cake, not overpower it.
I ordered three that day...the lemon, the red velvet, and the almond poppyseed...needless to say, they're all gone! But I did share with the hubby, who also approved of the cake, especially the lemon.

I have to say it...due to the fact that they're so close to home and are sooo good, they have now become my favorite cake shop...they're quite awesome!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post and I purchased the Lemon, Almond Poppyseed and Red Velvet Bundtini's from my own pocketbook. The good folks over at Nothing Bundt Cake have no idea who I am. I'm just an admitted cake addict who  wanted to share my new find with everybody willing to read this. Now what are you waitin' for .. go, get some!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The UPS Man

Many people don't like to drive trucks up our is a quarter of a mile long up a side of the mountain at a 53% upward grade.

Fortunately, I became friends with my UPS man...all it took was actually meeting him one time at the bottom of the hill, talking with him..and finally sharing a cupcake with him to get him to deliver packages to our door (yeah, the front door....up the hill...isn't it marvelous?)

This is one of my favorite packages to receive...see who it's from?

Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop!  I love getting her my Momma would have said, in her best Southern twange, "it's the best thing since sliced bread!"

Many of my local quilt shops have gone out of business due to ObamaEconomics...thus, I have become somewhat internet savvy in ordering fabrics.  And, I must admit, the Fat Quarter Shop is one of my favorites when it comes to fabric...consistently carries the newest fabrics, ships quickly and accurately, and always available for questions. Plus the store has a WISH which I must admit is quite extensive in my case.

Thank you for always taking care of is most appreciated!

p.s.: this is my own personal opinion, based on my experiences during the past two years (or maybe longer).

p.p.s: My husband has told me I can order what I want, within reason, as it is much cheaper than paying a shrink...isn't that great news? LOL