Saturday, April 26, 2014

What's on the Menu

DH's birthday is coming up so I am cooking.  Two guys he used to work with bring their wives, and we all help celebrate.  Tonight we are having:
  • APPETIZERS - veggies & dip - dip recipes from HERE (there many recipes here - just page through.  I have made up tortilla mix, ranch dressing mix, and onion soup mix.  All of them make good dips with either sour cream or plain yogurt)
  • crackers & cheese & kielbasa
  • MAIN COURSE - pulled pork from THIS recipe
  • toasted buns for the pork
  • baked potatoes with sour cream, chopped green onions, grated cheddar cheese
  • kale salad from Costco (seriously - DH actually put this in the cart himself.  Kale!!  Could zucchini be next?)
  • chocolate cake with ice cream
I have my own chocolate cake mix that I make up and keep in the pantry.  Because I don't like ingredient lists like this:
This is the mix that I keep in the pantry, in a very fancy (?) ziploc bag.

The frosting is a Martha Stewart recipe, HERE.

I'm also whipping up a pitcher of green cocktails for the girls, involving rum.  AND I will put a pitcher of lemon-water on the dining room table to perhaps forestall the hangovers.  :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Another Pretty from MQX and the STASH REPORT

This wasn't an award winner at MQX, but I think it's so pretty.  I didn't photo the card with the name of the maker, so if you know who it is let me know and I'll update this.
I love the way she (he?) fussy cut the blades.

And here is my TFUQ - the Batik Cats.  Formerly the March/April Challenge.  Yay - it's on the frame right now being quilted.  Since it's Easter weekend I thought I'd take some time to work on my own stuff.
I dragged out my invoice from New England Quilt Supply and added up the yardage I purchased.  gulp.

Used This Month  12.25 m
Used YTD            36 m
Added This Month  110.75 m
Added YTD            113 m
NET 2014                77 m increase in stash.  Ick.

When Diane came to repossess her quilt, she brought Karen with her.  Karen is pumping up her mom's stash, so she's actually the one who used the 12.25 m on this report.  Two chunks of yardage were cut up using JAWS' new Apple Core die.  I cannot wait to see that project when she gets it finished!

Springtime Firsts that happened yesterday:
  • I used the solar dryer to dry the sheets
  • four daffodils are blooming
  • no fire in my workroom fireplace

Friday, April 18, 2014

A coupl'a pages updated

I have updated the pages for:
  • WIDE BACKINGS includes a new backing fabric in stock
  • RENTAL OF 'JAWS' includes new dies to cut your fabric

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MQX Faves

If you click on the photos they will come up large for you.

This is Diane's quilt that I smuggled home for her. Notice the lovely ribbons? Now I can refer to her as "My friend Diane, you know - the big award winner at MQX?"
This is one of the award winners - by Margaret Solomon-Gunn.  I wandered around the show floor a second day to make sure I had made all necessary purchases.  Apparently I needed to spend another $60 on thread.  Pfftt.  Anyhoo, I went over and looked at this one again.

That quilting takes my breath away.  The fabric is silk (or a silk blend?) which has a beautiful glow, and of course, showcases the stitching.
While I was THAT far south (9 hours to Manchester NH), I figured I might as well head another 90 minutes down the highway to New England Quilt Supply.  Ooh.  More bad.  Stay tuned for a nasty stash report.  (!)  En route I was blessed to find a WONDERFUL radio station:  92.5 Boston the River.  When they played both Nik Kershaw AND Elvis Costello in the first 20 minutes of my drive I knew I was in love.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Progress at MQX

Today is the only chance I have had to do some of the piecing I brought with me. As you can see, the steel tape measure is out so I can accurately measure for the sashing strips. Occasionally a customer will say "But I DID measure the borders. I laid the quilt out on the bed." That always makes me screw my face up into something very unattractive. 'Cause yeah, the bed is a nice FLAT surface to measure on.

I am pretty excited that I have to pick up Diane Carson's quilt after the show closes today and return it to her. She won a big fat ribbon, so I may hold it hostage and see what I can get out of her. Ha ha. Just kidding. ;-)
We head home tomorrow after breakfast, so I'll post more about our adventures next week. I've actually been pretty circumspect with the camera and have no drunken pajama photos. Yet.
Pfftt.  Later...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On the road...

MQX, here I come!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sawtooth Star (or 8 pointed star) Quilt, and the DAILY IRRITANT

Wow.  What an effective use of colour.

The black floral background really brings out the colours in the blocks.  And it is such a simple block.  A SAWTOOTH, or eight-pointed star, made with four flying geese units, four half-square triangle units for the outer corners, and one large square in the center.

This was treated to semi-custom quilting.  The body of the quilt has been done with a pantograph design, while the two borders got stitch-in-the-ditch and their own border treatments.  The gold border has a pattern of ovals stitched on it.

Easier to see on the back:  the outer border has a thistle design.

The snow is pretty much all gone.  I am so happy to see this!  A stream that only burbles during spring melt, or heavy rainstorms.
Here is my random crabbiness/irritant for the day:  There are household rules around the daily newspaper.  DH gets the paper and reads it in the morning.  I read it in the evening.  The crossword puzzle is his, the sudoku puzzle is mine.
Irritant:  the puzzles are on an inside page that requires you to fold the paper inside-out.  That's not the irritant.  When I get the paper it is never folded along the proper fold line.  That's the irritant.  And remember who had the paper first.  It wasn't me.  This bugs me as much as looking at a poorly made bed where the sheets aren't lined up straight in line with the edge of the mattress, with the upper layer of quilt (natch!) lined up along those lines.  I'm not sure why straightness and symmetry are important for those things.  After all, I build crooked garden beds and place furniture everywhere on an angle.  Lord help us when I get old and really weird.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring is coming...

Winter moved in before I was completely finished with the fall cleanup.  Gah!  Straggly leftover peony detritus.
Yesterday was such a NICE day I was walking without boots.  Wearing a spring jacket.  Itching to give the garden clippers a workout.

Much better!!  All the junk has been cut off and clipped up into shreds, left to decompose.  I am too lazy to get the wheelbarrow environmentally friendly to dispose of garden clippings.

I like my peonies to look a little blowzy.  Yes, these really are my peonies.  From last June.

Personally, I don't like peonies looking like they are in jail.  (No, these are NOT my peonies.  Poor little things.)

DH makes the BEEonies.  If I were more on the ball I could make sure I tuck the growing stalks into the wings a bit better.  If you want one (or more) he sells these for $100 each.  They look very cute in the winter too, if you dress them up with tacky, gold garland, or with twinkly lights.