Thursday, February 28, 2013

a finish

Here is a little baby quilt that I started last fall and finally got finished up. The shapes are all cut by a template and then topstitched to the solid background with raw edges exposed.  After I put on the binding (by machine) I ran it through the wash to get it frayed and cozy feeling.  Kinda cute!

Vintage Circle Quilt by YoyoMama

One of the cool things about working on machine embroidery is that the machine runs itself for periods of time, until thread needs to be changed, etc.  So I have been able to do a little knitting while my machine was stitching out designs, and I am working on a little sweater that I hope will fit Ian someday.  This is the back in its current state and I have just started the front.  It's a "letter sweater" and will have a big blue "I" on the chest.  It's a pattern by Debbie Bliss.
Part 1 of 4
So check on over on the Bear Patch blog to see my embroidered blocks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

heading towards the finish

I spent some quality time with my sewing machine last night after driving to Bridge Creek Cottage in Augusta, WI, with Debbie.  We are all set up and ready to greet the Bear Patch Machine Embroidery Retreat attendees today.  I was happy to finish up the stitching on this wallhanging for Dan--

His Highness by Pine Needles
I had started working on it in January and now, except for the binding which is sitting at home, it is all stitched up.  This was a design done with a fusible web on the back of the fabrics, ironed into place according to the pattern diagram.  Then all of the edges need to be stitched down, and that was what I did last night.  The picture  below gives you and idea--
Before too much longer it will be on its way to Montana!

Then I pulled another oldie out of the box.  It was something I sewed together awhile ago, and now I finally have the quilting done.  I kept it simple, just outlining the stars and then sewing between all the strips that frame it up.  Done except for binding, which probably is at home, too!  These were all fabrics from my own shelves, so I can always find something compatible for that binding.  I had been hoarding that star print for the center of this for quite awhile!  I'm pretty sure this pattern was part of the Jo's Little Women Club that was hosted at the store a few years ago.

I will be posting more things about the retreat over on the Bear Patch blog, so make sure you check up on us there!  I think Jeanne has plenty of fun planned for our guests!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

will you look at that!

Once again, the theory that you can't teach an old dog new tricks has been refuted.  Because this girl has learned how to use her sewing machine for embroidery!

This is what I hope to accomplish, however, I might edit it down to the wallhanging size.  It is the HoopSisters Feathered Star Embroiderablock of the Month.  My fabric choices are much different than the picture below--

I have had the embroidery feature attachments for about a year, and took some classes from my fine friends at Bear Patch Sewing Center.  But I never made it a priority to continue learning and practicing, and this is something that does take a different focus than the sewing and quilting that I have done up until this time.  I will let you know how it goes.  So far, I have needed a lot of coaching from the machine embroidery pros at the store.  And this week I get to participate in a retreat for just this type of project, so here's hoping that I get some of these stars put together!

Yesterday I mixed up a batch of guacamole for a little appetizer for Bob's birthday dinner, and it turned out so tasty that I thought I should share it with you.  It is based on directions from 2007 Cook's Country magazine:

2 green onions, sliced thinly, green and white parts included
a portion of a jalepeno pepper, we don't like it real hot so I use about 1/6th of the pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoon juice from 1 lime plus 1/4 teaspoon finely grated zest
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
Combine the onions, pepper, garlic and lime juice in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.  Add one of the avocados and mash all together until smooth.  Add the rest of the avocado but don't mash it.  Add the lime zest, cilantro and salt.  Serve with chips.

Speaking of food, this quilt is called Cranberry Chutney by Madison Cottage Designs.  I am quilting it for a customer, and I really like it.  I am doing randomly spaced straight lines in a grid.

So finally, we are having an important first birthday coming up in about a week.  So yesterday the little guy got to visit the grands, and since I was baking cupcakes for Grandpa's birthday, we thought he needed a little practice to prepare him for the monumental first birthday cake smash in the face party.  Do you think his mommy could tell that he had sampled anything??

Sunday, February 17, 2013

and the race is on!

So, I am happy to report that we have a new season of The Amazing Race!  So my Sunday nights are once again, the happy place!

Also, the day was off to a very good start with this little gems--

I  can highly recommend them as easy, tasty, economical and practical.  And I know this is driving you nuts, Dan, but they really are good!

It was also a good day in the sewing room, since I got to finish up this-- 

Mary Lee by Totes By Sandy

Plus, I finished sewing together the rows for this--
Deco Tumber by Sew Kind of Wonderful
soon to be displayed at Bear Patch and included in our Sew Creative event.  It uses a special ruler to cut those curves, and sewing them was a snap!  Well, almost!

Friday, February 15, 2013

gadget girl

My mind has not been directed at this page lately, seems to be moving at a snail's pace!  I will blame it on my winter hibernation phase, which should be winding down before long.  The days are really getting longer, and we are only a little over 3 weeks from switching to daylight savings time.  To me, that signifies warm summer days, and 3 weeks is not going to make them magically appear, but it is a step in the right direction!

Some things to share:

I found a nifty little gadget (you know I love a good gadget!) to help me hang onto my computer cord.  I use my laptop on the overhanging countertop, and the plug-in below is in a perfect location but not handy for my cord attachment situation when I carry the laptop somewhere else.  Which happens frequently.  That is the selling point of a laptop, after all!  Mine has an aging battery, in fact, the most recent visit to the Apple store revealed that my battery is officially "consumed", meaning it is circling the drain slowly.  So I have to be conscious of keeping it plugged in to charge whenever it is on home base.  This little Command hook is made for cords, and by attaching it to the edge of the counter, it keeps my cord end from falling onto the floor and is easy to re-attach.  I think they might come in different sizes.  I bought this pack at the Container Store.

On the topic of computers, I want to tell you about another delightful little happening that involves my MacBook.  I had experienced a few glitches with re-booting, so took it to the pros at the Apple Store.  They needed to keep it for a couple days to diagnose the problem, which turned out to be a minor part replacement.  But the Genius Bar guy also noticed that I had a little crack on the edge of the surface that surrounds the keyboard.  Well, when I went back to pick it up, it was like it had had a spa treatment!  From what I can tell, all of the inside surfaces surrounding the keyboard and screen had been replaced, as well as all of the key caps!  Sometimes it takes very little to make a difference!

Here's another goodie-
I have wrapped my camera cord onto it and it is just the right size to fit neatly into my camera bag
It is the Bobino cord wrap, and comes in 3 sizes.  I think this is the medium size of the three sizes they offer.  I bought it at a gift shop, and have seen them at gift and office supply stores.

Here's another little gadget!

Now 11 months old!  Bob and I spent last weekend with Ian while B&B ran off to New York City.  Whew!  That's a workout!  Who needs the gym when you can crawl, lift, push and pull with a wiggly giggly little guy?  We had such a good time and have so many sweet memories of little moments and the things we learned.  He learns all the time and inspires us to be open to what is around us.  Just the fact that he now learned to put things into other things is another little milestone, of many more milestones past and future.  Thank you, B&B, for making this little gem and trusting us to be substitute parents for a few days!

Finally, here's a good read--

Actually, a good listen, since I was able to obtain the recorded version from our library.  It is a work of fiction, a little odd in spots, but overall quite intriguing.  Give it a try if you are in need of some new reading material.  And now I am on the second novel of the Millenium series, re-reading the 3 books by Steig Larson.  I rarely repeat a book, unless by accident because I forgot that I already read it until I am too far into it to put it down!  Not the case here, just for my own satisfaction.

Enjoy the wind-down of winter! (We hope!)