Thursday, February 25, 2010

Puppies on parade

I've been working on a new little quilt design because I have always liked the look of the 16-patch block but never used it before. So I found this irresistible puppy dog fabric at Bear Patch and with some input from Kristina, gathered up 16 more fabrics to make the blocks. It's just a baby quilt size so pretty reasonable to put together if you have a special fabric that you want to use and some bits and pieces to go with it.
This is a close-up of the puppies, although for some reason they appear to be on a beige background instead of the blue that is shown above. They really are cute, even to someone like me who is not what I would call a "dog person"! We have had several cats as pets, but never a dog, except when I was a kid at home on the farm and dogs were a part of the landscape there.
I think these little pups are as close as I will come to having a pet dog!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quilt Fun

Something new and lovely spent some time on my quilt frame over the weekend, it looks so pretty and fresh! Debbie made this from a new group of fabric at the store for our upcoming display of baby quilts. The fabric group is Blush from Basic Grey by Moda. The pattern is LoLo by Blue Underground Studios. My quilting is pretty subtle, a few loops and feathers, to make a sweet little baby quilt that is useful and practical. We have other fun things in mind for display in a month or so, stay tuned.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

good things!

Some things that I have been thinking about posting here but kept forgetting--
a Christmas present from Debbie, my Maggie Bag that is a perfect fit for my Christmas present from Brita, Ben and Dan, my Flip video camera! Do you think they all planned this? Another example of synchronicity, a favorite word of mine.
Nutella, my new favorite thing on toast! Given I have never been a fan of peanut butter unless it's a Reese's peanut butter cup, I had never taken the time to investigate this spread made of hazelnuts. What I didn't know is that it also is chocolaty! It is Delicious, which makes me sad that I have been missing this pleasure for so long!
Got Olympics? Seems I can't get enough of the drama!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a cuppa tea

Something that has become a favorite treat for me is a good cup of chai tea. There are a lot of variations on this theme of chai tea and I have tried several. I can't consume just any chai concoction due to my inability to digest milk products without a minor explosion, so I have to be a bit selective. The Oregon Chai brand of concentrate is really good when mixed with vanilla soy milk, so that is one of my favorites. And their peppermint flavor is excellent! But hard to find in a store, so I might have to break down and order online. Anyway, when I get to have a little quilting getaway along with Leisl, she always brings along a barrel of her favorite powdered chai mix and I'm kinda jealous of her ability to just boil up some water and stir in the powder to produce a yummy beverage. She has her favorite brand and like most mixes that you might see in the grocery store, it is based on regular milk powder. So on these recent cold wintery days, I decided to create my own non-dairy chai mix and I think I have found a good combination so I am going to share it with you while I savor my own steaming mug.
Chai Tea Mix for Lactose Intolerants (you know who you are)
2 cups powdered non-dairy creamer, can be purchased in a large container at your grocery store
2 1/2 cups sugar, or less depending on your preference but sweetness is a big part of the Indian chai formula. Might try a sugar substitute next time.
1 1/2 cups powdered unsweetened instant tea
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
All of these spices are ground. Mix all the ingredients together, if you have a food processor whirl them around in there for a bit to make a nice fine powder, which gets all over the counter. Mix 2 heaping tablespoons with each cup of boiling water and stir. Sip and enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

on the home front

Yesterday Bob had a hankering to indulge in some special cooking and when we saw a cooking show about grilling pork roasts, he knew he wanted to try this. Who knew that Balinese BBQ could be so good! The spices in this concoction were incredibly aromatic, especially when they got heated up. He used his handy-dandy rotisserie to do the cooking, but it could also be accomplished in a regular grill or oven. We both loved the result!
I happily finished up a big quilting project yesterday, you can read about it on the Bear Patch blog. It took me a good chunk of time to decide what to do and then to carry out the plan. I am pleased with the outcome, but I do find something like this very challenging. I know that this will be a quilt that will draw viewers who come during the Shop Hop specifically to see the quilt and get the pattern. I'm not necessarily comfortable with that kind of pressure, because even though Laurel designed and constructed the quilt, I know that the quilting that I add can really enhance what she has already done and make it something that people will like. Or, it can be so-so (or should that be sew-sew), and leave me wishing I had done something else! I guess we will all see come April 30!
I have recently prepared some new samples for my pattern, Going Sewing, and had so much fun using selvedge edges from a variety of fabrics. I'm going to offer it as a class at Bear Patch next summer as part of my series of accessories for those who sew.
We are quietly celebrating Valentine's day with Bob in the kitchen again. This is so fun! He is making risotto, scallops, and green beans. Yummo!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quilts For Kids

I have just returned home from a day of quilting fun. Nine people gathered to cut, stitch, press and put together some awesome little quilts that are destined for an ill child in one of the local children's hospitals. We are working with Quilts For Kids to spread a little bit of happiness to kids that need it. Today we completed 9 quilts and have at least a half dozen more nearly finished. It really was a very fun day, and I want to thank everyone who attended for their help, especially Deb and Terri. I hope this is the first of many such gatherings!

Monday, February 1, 2010

a few miles to go--

Remember back a few months ago, I told you about turning over 200,000 miles on my car? I enjoy the fact that I know my car well and it takes me wherever I need to go with very little trouble. Not sure how long it will last, but I've found a bit of inspiration to keep on truckin'. Click on this link to get a glimpse into my future!