Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The good and the bad....

The last few weeks have been ... well... happy and sad.

Happy was that Grandma turned 105! She's kind of in and out as far as knowing what's going on but what can be expected at that age. We brought her ice cream .... that's about her favorite thing now.

Another birthday was my brother, Ricky... well, Rick... but I still think of him as Ricky. He's a bit younger than me but a senior citizen just the same. Did some baking and sent him a box of goodies.
Ricky is on the far right... next to me and Grandpa. Happy Birthday, Rick! 

Sad was that my uncle passed away. Uncle Russ was my dad's older brother and a really nice guy. I always thought my dad and him looked a lot alike.  

He lived out in California so we didn't get to visit very often. In 2000 we took a trip out there and stopped to see him, my aunt and cousins. That's when we took this picture of Uncle Russ and Al in San Francisco.

They've been out to see us in Michigan a few times since then.
But the best times were when we were children and my grandmother (the one who is 105) would have a big reunion at her house. My cousins from out west (we never knew exactly where.. just out west) would come into town. We would have a ball... 6 kids in our family, 5 in my uncle's family and then another 5 cousins... fun, fun, fun!
It's nice to reminisce... good memories...  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shopping the sales... and RESALES

I think I mentioned that my LQS was having a huge sale.... well, I went of course ...sort of...I worked one of the days so I couldn't help shopping as I cut for everyone.
This is a new line they're carrying from Minick and Simpson... REDS :) I bought some extra pieces from Collection of Love to add to them along with my favorite solid... Kona Snow.

 These two cuties came in with a children's line and they are something I just always want to have on hand so I bought a yard of green and a yard of the blue.
 This is more from the Collection of Love... plus a few more Civil War FQs.
 And these are going to be my new PJs... yup, just loved this pretty stripe so I bought 4 yards to make pjs... the periwinkle will be collar, trim etc.

Now on to the RESALE part:

I found this 3 yard piece of paisley at my local Goodwill for 1.99... YEAH! It's very pretty with my civil war fabrics. I gave it a good washing and pressing just to make sure it shrunk... not sure of the quality although it feels pretty good.

Now these scraps are from another resale... they had a bag of scraps for 1.25 and it included the cream in the top of the picture (about a yard of it) and all these jelly roll scraps.

It also included these "older" squares from Keepsake. They'll probably go in a strippy quilt... but first they are going to get a good soaking to see if they bleed when washed.
So today I'm sorting and putting away my new goodies (and washing and pressing and drooling over them). I know I don't REALLY need any more fabric but I just can't help myself sometimes ;)
And here's a finished project (have to justify my buying):
This is the quilt I was having problems with on the quilting but it turned out just fine. It'll be a baby floor quilt. The corners are hexagon flowers appliqued but could be left off.
This quilt uses 8 fat eighths, some background, a yard of medium pink and a little over a yard of the darker pink. The pattern will be at Hearts to Holly Quilt Shop soon. Sue, the owner, sells packs of coordinated fat eighths (called Flip Flops)... just what this needs.
Pattern- Little Flower Patch, about 66" square

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quilts and Veggies at the Farmer's Market

Had to add one note:
Hearts to Holly Quilt shop (my fav) has a BIG 6th anniversary sale going on today.
30% off RULERS, BOOKS, THREAD, NOTIONS and FABRIC (1yd or more) PLUS FQ are buy 6 get 6!!!!!  

Al and I had a taste for fresh bagels on Thursday so we went to the farmer's market in town. Since the weather is now starting to turn cold, they've moved it indoors... into the back area of the library. I couldn't resist taking pictures of the beautiful quilts that were a backdrop to the fruits and veggies.

Some of these quilts are for sale... some just for show... but all very  beautiful.
 This one (below) is done by an artist friend of mine... she's VERY talented.
 I love this TREE wall hanging below...  wouldn't that be pretty in an entry room?
 This one was hard to get a picture of but it's scrappy and fun. Love the color choices in the blocks. I would like to start a scrap quilt soon.... nice inspiration.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Solved a problem :)

A few days ago I wrote about a problem I was having with my bobbin thread popping up and showing on the top of my quilt as I was quilting. I have to say, I tried EVERYTHING to fix this... different thread on top, different thread in the bobbin, cleaned the machine, oiled the machine, adjusted the top tension, then VERY RELUCTENTLY adjusted the bobbin tension... nothing worked.
 See that green thread showing on the white?... AHH*&*)@#!

Last night (or VERY early this morning), I was lying awake when it hit me... I had just changed the needle because there seemed to be a burr catching my fabric... and the only needle handy in my case had been a size 14. That's large compared to what I usually use.

So this morning I changed to a size 10 or 11 (somewhat smaller). THAT was the problem!
The hole was too large and it was letting the bobbin come to the surface.

WELL, since almost all of my border was done with this green showing, I left it and just started quilting some more... no way was I going to RIP all that stitching out.
But boy does the quilting look nice now..

This isn't an important quilt... just one I was making to try out a new pattern. It'll probably be for a child/baby to play on. So now on to the binding :)

This is another project I'm considering.. after I finish up a few UFOs.
The book is called Japanese Taupe Quilts. They're neutral quilts. I can't say I like the oriental look but I do like how modern and clean some of these look. This book has a pattern for a table runner and also some nice sampler quilts.

I've started collecting some of the Japanese fabrics plus other neutrals that I think will fit in. I found the plaid on the bottom edge of the picture at a resale shop (it was a shirt for 99 cents!). It's a cotton/linen weave and really is a beautiful color. This picture doesn't do it justice. Below are some more fabrics I found to use in my project. 

And here's what I did with some hexagons that I cut out of solid to try out the new Hexagon Template from Creative Grids. You can cut up a pile of hexagons in no time.
This will be made into a pillow. I stitched them all together and have been trying to decide whether to cut more or to work with what I have. Since I have a TON of started projects, I decided to just finish this up and it's a perfect size for a bed pillow. I'll post a picture when it's done.
I might add embroidery or some other details... maybe oversized quilting..
Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall weather. Our leaves up here in northern MI are peaking. 
Winter is just around the corner ...OH, what a depressing thought! Forget I said that.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taking a day trip through northern Mi to see the Quilt Barns

Today we (some friends from Charlevoix and me) went to Traverse City's Mission Peninsula to see the barn quilts. There are 15 of them... 14 in the printed brochure and one new one on a house.
I love barn quilts and have one on our barn... Photo of it.
Here are the ones we saw today plus a few extra pics...

 We couldn't get any closer to this one... beautiful scenery though.

 This one above is not on the trail... must be newer than the brochure.
 Check out the cherry window boxes (this is cherry country up here).

 This view is across the street from the barn above it... if you've been to TC but haven't been here, it's really worth the drive. And below is a little dragonfly that one of my friends picked up... flew away before we could get any more pictures of it... SO CUTE!!

This quilt was WAY up high in the antique store/quilt barn (third pic from the top). The owner of the shop says it's all velvet... sure was beautiful!
 Couldn't pass up a chance to take a picture of this little shed/barn... aren't the chickens great?!
And now I'm home again, enjoying the beautiful red tree out my doorwall. This tree struggled for the first two years but now it's lit up like a fire... just love it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Quilting and making pierogi

Today I got a little quilting done on one of my smaller quilts. I'm having a little problem with the bobbin thread showing on the top. It's not TERRIBLY obvious but enough that it's bugging me. I tried changing the bobbin thread to something thicker, changed the tension (tighter and then looser)... but nothing has helped. I'm doing FMQ (free motion quilting) on this quilt and when I do a point or circle around backwards, that's when it REALLY starts to show.
Anyways, I decided to quit for a bit and do some cooking for my company that's coming on the weekend. We're going to have an Octoberfest... pork cutlets, pierogi, applesauce, fried red cabbage, homemade rolls... BEER :)
Today I made the pierogi and thought maybe I should share the recipe... they're really easy. These are the cheese ones. If you're a fan of Polish food like me, you'll love these.
Here's the how-to in pictures. I'll put the recipe at the bottom.
 Need butter, sugar, eggs and a pkg of farmer's cheese.
Mix it all in a food processor till creamy.

 The filling is done... put it in the fridge till your dough is finished.
Dough is made of flour, eggs, butter, oil, salt and sour cream.
Put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor (don't even have to clean it out from the filling, it's not going to matter).
Mix the three together then add the rest of the ingredients.
Mix till you have a dough... if you need to add a bit of water (too dry) or flour (too wet), add that and process till it forms a nice ball. 

 I split the ball into 6 or so pieces and flatten them. Then run them through a pasta maker (or you could roll them flat with a rolling pin and lots of flour).
 This is my trusty pasta maker from '81... use it all the time.

 Once it's rolled out to a #4 thickness, cut circles out with a large biscuit cutter (3-4").
You should get about 27 rounds. Put a rounded teaspoonful of the filling on the middle of each round.
Put some water in a little bowl and wet the edge of each circle of dough to help when sealing. Fold circle in half (the water will be a glue), keeping the filling away from the edges and press.
Press the edges together really well... you don't want your perogi opening up when they boil.
 Get a pot of water boiling... drop in about 6 or 7. When they float to the top, time them... 3-4 minutes and they're done. Scoop them out, drain, and drop in the next 6 or 7.

 The cook has to make sure they're okay for the party, right? ;)
Cheese Pierogi
Cheese Filling:
1 pkg farmers cheese (about 1/2 lb)
2 large eggs
1-1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons salted butter.
Mix together in food processor.
2-1/2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Veggie Oil
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
Mix first three ingredients in food processor. Add next three until it forms a ball. Roll out dough to a number 4 on a pasta machine. Cut into 4" circles. Dampen edges of circles and put 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each circle. Fold in half and seal well. Drop into boiling water, 6 at a time. When they float to top, set timer for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain in colander. Fry in butter or freeze and fry later. Serve with sour cream or apple sauce. MMmmmmm!!

Finishing the baby's I-Spy quilt

I made the 64 block, stitched the rows together then finished the top but Jenn and I decided to make the quilt a bit bigger. It's 48&q...