Monday, August 31, 2009

Sue's quilt & zucchini (surprised???)

Sue won these blocks at the Binbrook guild quite a while ago. With fall on it's way the colours are perfect. We've added a blanket AND another quilt to the bed already. I think we can take down the umbrella this week - the forecast has NO RAIN for 5 whole days.

Zucchini added to the freezer this weekend: 13 cups shredded.

Zucchini Loaf count: 10 (and probably more to come).

Today will be green beans day - there are tons to be picked. I also need to make Plum Sauce. If you look at a jar of commercial plum sauce you'll see that it's usually made with pumpkin. huh? So in an effort to be avant-garde I make my plum sauce with plums. And it's very very piquant.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I love my cutting garden

Need I say more? And they come with bonus ants that run all around the kitchen until the Great White Bwana (that's me) kills them.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teeny Bag

edited to add a link to the pattern
I whipped up this cute little bag yesterday. The pattern is on the MODA website. I made the bottom too square - it should be rectangular. Although, it fits a vodka bottle better this way. I think it will make a nice theme for a Secret Sister swap.

My plan:
  • have interested guild members sign up
  • give them the pattern and have them pull someone's name
  • have them bring their teeny bags to guild in February with a little gift inside. MODA thinks you should put a charm pack of MODA fabrics inside.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Morning Out Class Quilt, Outdoorsey Quilts

I have Floyd unplugged for a while because it is pouring rain with thunder & lightening AGAIN. Hubby got the patio bricks finished this week - yippee!! Now we have our outdoor dance hall back. Not that he'll dance. But the dog & I....

Here is the actual sample quilt for the Morning Out classes. This is a 48 x 60 - I've also written the pattern to include a single size and a double size.

It seems to be the season for outdoorsey quilts. I did the two fishing quilts a couple weeks ago. Now I've done a bear quilt and a wild animal quilt. I also have another moose quilt in the lineup.

I quite enjoyed quilting the snowflakes in this blue border because it was about 100 degrees at the time. Cooled off my mind, if nothing else.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A few of my favorite things


Volunteers that come from the bird seed.

My trug.

Being spoiled by DH on Sunday morning. 'D' stands for darling. (today)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quilt, Trouble with the Universe, Zucchini (yes again)

Pat's quilt turned out really nice.

Apparently, the Universe is not done with us yet. Last week it was the washing machine. It was going 'clackety, clackety, clackety' but it was not spinning. After I wrung (by hand) all the water out of my laundry DH took the beast apart and replaced a small $25 part. We're back in business for the time being. But seriously, that washer doesn't owe us a penny. I bought the washer AND dryer used, from a quilting buddy of mine about 6 years ago for $300. DH has repaired the dryer once and the washer twice.

Yes mummy, I really really want more zucchini.

Tonight, in preparation for shredding much zucchini for the freezer I got out the mix-master, which has the meat grinder/veggie chopper attachment. This was a wedding gift from my inlaws. See previous post about us recently celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. OK, have you put 2 and 2 together? So, I turn this baby on and all it will run at is HIGH speed. I mean REALLY HIGH. Crap. Now I have to shred all this stuff by hand. I always get a wee bit of protein in the mix when I inadvertently shred my knuckles off.

Zucchini added to the freezer today: 9 cups.

DH: "D" is not always for 'darling'. Sometimes it is for dingbat. I have my email set up so there is an automatic signature. It says "Helen" and has my blog address. DH sends out emails and changes the "Helen" to Helen and her good for nothing fat lazy useless Assistant. However, he neglects to indicate the the email is actually from him. I get an email back from my sister in law asking me if he (DH) knows how I am talking about him. Huh??? Well, I guess now he knows I call him a dingbat sometimes. heh, heh, heh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Horoscope, new CDN magazine, Zucchini Loaf Recipe

It makes me nervous when my horoscope starts my day like this:
You could be feeling a little opinionated at the moment, but just try to avoid saying whatever pops into your head if you want to stay out of too much trouble right now.
What would make today different from any other day? I must find the duct tape.

Here's a beauty.
I love the orange.

We have a new CANADIAN quilting magazine coming out. First edition will be September 1st. Here's a link that will give you a chance to win a free year. Here's a link to the newsletter signup which will give you a chance to win an issue.

Zucchini Loaf v.2.0

3 c. flour (2 c. unbleached, 1 c. whole wheat)
1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. cinnamon
+ 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 eggs

1/2 c. veg. oil + 1/2 c. milk
1 c. packed brown sugar + 1/2 c. white sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. grated zucchini
1 c. pecan pieces, or your nut of choice. I don't mean your little sister.

  • grease & flour 2 loaf pans 8" x 4"
  • preheat oven to 325 f (165 c)
  • sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, spices in a bowl
  • beat eggs, oil, milk, vanilla & sugar together in a large bowl
  • add sifted ingredients and beat well
  • stir in zucchini & nuts until well combined
  • pour into loaf pans
  • bake 60 minutes (give or take) until tester inserted in the center comes out clean
  • cool in pans for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling
  • wrap for 24 hours before slicing. If you can wait that long. Mmmm yummy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quilt for Fall Class, Punk Rock and Zucchini

Here's the quilt I'm working on. This will be the class I teach at Morning Out starting in September (8 Tuesday mornings, 9:15 - 11:15).

This is how I freeze zucchini. The blossom end is trimmed off and goes to the dog, the stem end goes in the compost. I shred the zucchini, then shove it into a 1 cup measure, pack it down, then flip it on to a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When it's frozen I throw it into a Tupperware or plastic bag. All winter long it goes into soups, stews, meatloaf, casseroles, etc. Wherever I can hide it, if you get my drift.

Last night DH and I went to the Festival of Friends. I wanted to see Steven Page, formerly of the Bare Naked Ladies, and Finger Eleven (formerly Rainbow Butt Monkeys - who thinks up these names?). We trundled into Hamilton with our folding lawn chairs and settled down on the grass around 6:45. Steven was scheduled to start at 7 and he was right on time. He was good - I really like his music, but he was a little boring as far as his presentation. Finger Eleven wasn't scheduled until 9 pm. I didn't want to lose our spots on the grass so we stayed for the in-between act. Hah! It was Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg. OMG, punk from when I was in my 20's. Do you remember The Ramones? I knew most of the words. I was bopping away - those guys were just great. They didn't even stop between songs. There was a 'ONE TWO THREE FOUR' and they were off and running on another tune. They jumped and hopped and pumped their fists for over an hour - energy just pouring off them. Poor DH though. He's slinking further and further into his seat trying very hard to NOT stick his fingers in his ears. Johnny Cash is more his style so I have to give him credit for hanging in there with me. The crowd was getting thicker and thicker as the Marky band got closer to the end of their set and tons of people were standing up in front of us. Totally blocking our view of both the stage and the big screen video. And everyone smokes it seems. I thought smoking was in decline, but apparently not in the teen/20's age group. After the 12th person stepped on my foot without apologizing I decided we might as well pack it in. Even if we stood up I'd never be able to see 'cause I'm short. Too bad I didn't have my Red Hat Army with me to set those interlopers straight. Oh well, home early enough for a glass of vino and a slice of my deelicious Zucchini Loaf v.2.0 - lower fat and lower sugar. Recipe to follow in a day or two. Gotta keep you coming back for more, eh?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fish Quilts and Zucchini

Is it just me, or is there something slightly insane about having enough fish fabric to make two large quilts AND backings? Now, if it were SHOE fabric, I'd understand. Marie is donating these to a charity auction, so some lucky guys will be getting fishy gifts under the Christmas tree.

Zucchini season is well under way here. I'm quite looking forward to Saturday, which I understand is national Leave A Zucchini On Your Neighbour's Porch day. Neighbours, consider yourselves warned. The dog likes zucchini, too, for which I'm grateful.

I seem to have developed a 'calling' this year to develop the world's best zucchini loaf recipe. The good ones are too oily. The healthy ones are too dry. I pulled a recipe off the internet (note to self: throw out the cookbooks, you don't use 'em anymore) for a 2-loaf batch. Along with other stuff, it calls for 3 c. flour, 3 eggs, 1 c. oil, 2 1/4 c. sugar and 2 c. zucchini. I tried to compensate for all the SUGAR by substituting white flour with 1 c. whole wheat flour. Since DH really hates (!) zucchini I pawned a loaf off on Joan when she brought her quilt yesterday. I warned her that it could be crap, and to please call me if it was (so I would not have to find out the hard way). She didn't call, so feeling safe I sliced into the twin loaf today. It was very very yummy because of all the SUGAR. Tonight I'm adapting it again, using 1 c. brown sugar and 1/2 c. white sugar, and changing the 1 c. oil to 1/2 c. oil and 1/2 c. milk. I'll give you a report in two days. These things need to be wrapped for a day so they can mellow... I fully expect this version to be kinda scary so I may be reporting on version 3 later. I feel sorry for the gals who are going to the guild Sewing Day next week. Can you guess what I'm bringing for treats? (picture hand wringing and evil 'bwahahaha' along with drool-ey lip licking)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Purple Dog

We have a lovely fruit tree in our backyard. No idea what it is, but they look like black raspberries when they're ripe. Normally we have a zillion birds eating the berries and pooping purple all over everything for a couple weeks. A wide brimmed hat usually keeps us fairly clean.

This year the mockingbirds had babies in the backyard, so they've been chasing all the other birds away. Hence, the berries are falling on the grass.

Well, Sadie seems to like being Punk Doggie. She's having a gay old time rolling around in the berries and dying her fur. sigh...

Monday, August 3, 2009


You've probably been thinking that I'm just all about going out and having fun, eh? Well, NO. Actually I've been working too. You should be able to just click on the photos for a full screen pic.

This was quilted with a light variegated thread in the print fabrics, with a squiggle/loop design to mimic the fabric. Black 'X's went in all the black squares with a diamond design in the border.

This Asian Panels quilt got the diamond treatment in the cream border. This was marked with a blue washout marker and a 1" x-hatching stencil - just tiny little dots were marked. These were both really nice quilts to work on. As you can probably tell, longarm quilters really like the back of quilts. :-)

My excitement this week is a NEW BREADMAKER. We had dinner with friends to celebrate our anniversary and their birthdays. I was whining about our breadmaker giving up the ghost. Lo and behold, they had two breadmakers, and thought I was a great excuse to clean out their cupboards. Yaaay, all the way around!! We will be swapping cupboard cleanouts, though. We're gifting an old guitar to their daughter. More yaaaay!! Hubby cleaned up the office which is just a fancy work for 'junk room'. We have salmon coloured carpet in there. Who knew? He's not much for dusting so I think maybe I will get out the old feather fluffy and dust off the desk. OMG. For two weeks now I've actually stuck to my target of doing books every Monday night for an hour or two. And I have another chance tonight to do it again. Maybe I won't be down here all next April turning into a troll?