Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cooking up a storm - and what to do when the dog eats your quilt!

When I cook, I like to make a BIG AMOUNT, so I don't have to cook again for several days.  It saves a lot of time! I call it "cooking up a storm", and there was a storm in my kitchen on Monday night.  First, I made a big batch of Salsa Chicken (you can find the recipe here).  The original recipe calls for couscous, but we like it with brown rice.  Also, as you can see, the cook enjoyed a lovely margarita, too!

I needed to bring a salad to work on Tuesday, so I made a double recipe of Summer Tortellini Salad (recipe here).  Quick, easy, and really delicious!

So, this is our favorite couch quilt, and one of our dogs decided to see how it tasted, leaving several chew holes.  What to do? I found this fabric in my stash - an old Alexander Henry with these gorgeous leaves - that I thought blended rather well with the quilt. A few minutes and some zigzag stitching, and the quilt was ready for more service on the couch.

Back side of quilt, had to patch both sides of course.

Another successful patch!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tumbler quilt done, first finish of 2014

First finish of 2014! So much love and anticipation was sewed into this baby quilt (sorry picture is so dark, it was quite overcast).  My nephew, Nathan, and his wife, Miranda, are expecting their baby in mid-May, and the shower is this coming Saturday! I won't be able to attend, as they live in Virginia, so I wrapped it carefully and sent if off today via UPS.  Fingers crossed for a safe journey!
I had an idea of what type and color fabrics I wanted, but I had trouble finding them at my LQS.  Several that I bought turned up finding a home on my stash shelf, but not in the quilt, and others from my stash joined the new fabrics just purchased.  
Here you see my starting point - the new fabrics purchased, and my inspiration: two quilts made by a blogger friend in Sweden, Margreth! "It's a small world, indeed!"  Check out her lovely blog here.  
My original plan was to add a wide border of all white, but I ended up just using tumblers and sashing.  I found the free pattern, here. While the pattern calls for both horizontal and vertical sashing, I used vertical only, similar to Margreth's gorgeous pink quilt.  

One little tip - as you sew your tumblers to your sashing strips, make sure to alternate them - wide at the top, narrow at the top, and so on.  You need units of both shapes as you assemble the quilt.  You also need to leave at least one inch of white sashing between your blocks, so that when you press your seam to one side, and rotary cut your segments apart, you will be able to make your cuts accurately.  The directions in the link are very clear and detailed.


All pin basted, ready for my machine quilting.  I had a piece of Hobbs Heirloom Wool batting, and I must say, I loved it! It quilted easily, and has a lovely soft draft and nice loft, too.  Another thing I noticed, as I had it on my lap, hand sewing the binding...wool batting is toasty warm!  After it was all done, I machine washed, gentle cycle, and tumble dried on low just a bit, then air dried to finish.  

This high chair goes way back in my family - my children, me, my mom, and my grandma, too.  

This child's rocker just might be my most prized possession - golden oak, hand-caned seat, and it was my grandma Myrtle's when she was a little girl, around the turn of the century.