Monday, November 30, 2009

Design Wall Monday - 11-30

Empty... not that I don't have anything to do - I finished the Atkinson Designs Fire Escape and haven't put back up any of the two other projects I had removed - they are still considered "in the works" though.

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But I thought it would be a good time to show you what my design wall is made of.

My wall is made up of 3 panels of 1 1/2 inch insulation board I picked up at Home Depot.  The panels are 2 feet wide and were 8 foot long - I cut them down to 6 foot.  They are marked as 'basement wall insulation system'... they have this notch in them that runs the length to fit over the wall studs.  When I butt them together I use a large binder clip to hold them at the top and (sometimes) bottom.

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Two of them I covered with some white felt I had and the third panel I used a piece of leftover cotton batting.  Not sure which I think works best... they both seem to hold on to everything I put up.  You could also use the back side of a vinyl table cloth.

On two of these panels I used a staple gun to hold the felt in place and on the third I used double sided carpet tape. 

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I think the double sided carpet tape works the best - the staples fall out and you have to use a bazillion of them to hold.  Which is why I switched to the tape - I ran out of staples.  Put the tape on the back side of the board and wrap your batting or felt around and secure.  Personally I like the cloth tape the best - but the paper tape will work as well - just make sure it's "double sided carpet tape".

One of these days I'll redo the ones with staples... someday when I don't have anything else to do... or all the staples have fallen out.  LOL

I like these units because they are portable, lightweight, very rigid/durable, and with each being 2 ft wide I can move them around easily.  I'd actually like to get 2 more in the future... you know - some day when I don't have anything else to do!

Hop over to Judy's blog and check out what is happening on other design walls around the world...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Herb's Still Here...

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Last year when I needed Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - I had to go to the grocery store.  This year I went out to the garden! 

I was surprised that my parsley was still growing - lots of new growth and no sign that it didn't like the cooler weather so far.  It is also the one thing that I haven't dried any of - so that should be on my list of things to get to tomorrow.

Stash Report... what week is this?

I know Judy L has her report listed as 49... but I'm thinking it's only 48 yet... but anyway... I guess it really doesn't matter does it as we are getting down to the wire here.

This week I can actually cross some yardage off the list - YEAH!

See these - 6 yards total out of the bins into 6 new pillowcases.  2 are for me - 2 are for my daughter in MA and 2 are for when my grandkids get here from Hawaii in just TWO Weeks!  Yahooo!  I know I have some other fabrics (christmas) I had gotten for pillowcases somewhere around here... hmmm??  would be nice to find them while I've got the serger out.  Or was that fabric I just thought about buying but didn't???  Oh geez now that's gonna drive me crazy wondering about whether I got them or not.

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One of these early early mornings I should update my spread sheet... I should...

I finished up the Atkinson Designs Fire Escape pattern - if you are looking for something to make up in a hurry... this is it!  Nice for batiks - would be especially cute for novelty prints for a kids quilt.  Any fabric you don't want to cut into small pieces so that you can still see the design - this would be great!

Fire Escape 007

So nothing in this week and 6 yards out!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is it a snake... or a sock?

Whilst gone the other weekend to VA I brought along some knitting and finished a sock... yep 'a' sock - not a pair just yet.  It's kinda cool - it is a Spiral Sock - a free pattern from Patons Yarns I picked up last winter while hanging out in TX.  It's kinda neat as you don't have to do a heal - it looks a bit like a snake don't ya think.Spiral Sock 001 I did manage to start the second sock so that the yarn pattern will match - something I didn't know to do with the other sock pair I made last winter - not that it really matters - they still keep my feet toasty.  I'd take a picture of the sock on my foot - but I'll have to shave my legs first as I'm already into my winter 'bear leg' season... not to be confused with the summer 'bare leg' season. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Design Wall Monday - 11-23 - updated

OK first I've gotta ask... What the heck happened to November?  It's the 23rd already!! 

Yeah I guess I knew it was coming... Thanksgiving is this week... and Our Little Turkey is going to be a year old!  And just a few short weeks later they will be sleeping right here at Granny's Stone House!  I need to sit on the floor and get a birds eye view of things and start to baby proof stuff... LOL

Anyway... all three sections of my Design Wall are shoved together this week.  I've got the long strips all in position and need to finish piecing the 4 patch units - just one color combination is completed and in place in rows 1 and 6.

Fire Escape 001

I'm off today for a trip out towards Philly to meet up with my sister.  Then I need to do some grocery shopping when I get home... otherwise we ain't having Turkey on Thursday... or anything else for that matter.

If you stopped in from this weeks Judy L's Design Wall Monday post - Thanks for Stopping In!  And if you are a regular visitor... Thank You too!  I do enjoy the company!

Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to the walls... but I like my walls - so it's OK when that happens!

MONDAY EVENING NOTE:  I did forget to mention in this post what the pattern is... I had linked to it in my previous entry but y'all don't all know that.  The pattern is called Fire Escape from Atkinson Designs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weeks 46 - 47 Stash Report...

I missed last week due to an out of town trip... but last weeks report would have been 'nadda' so y'all didn't miss anything by my not posting.

This week for Judy L Stash Report I do have a little bit of yardage to account for.  I've got 6 yards of batiks in and out for the new Atkinson Designs pattern Fire Escape.  If I make some progress on it - it will show up in the Design Wall Monday post .  It will be at least for a shop sample and possibly a class down the road.  I've sold several of the patterns just showing what I picked out to customers at the shop.  Should work up quick as it's some 4 patches, matching squares and long rectangles.  I love these kinda quilts.  Would also make a cute kids quilt using novelty prints!

Speaking of shop samples... this is an old Thimbleberries pattern called Tree Farm that I finished the binding on this week.  A nice way to use a large hunk of fabric without just putting it in as a slab o'border.  Sorry but the picture isn't the best.

Tree Farm 001 

Here is a better one - these are from a Moda line... ummm - but I can't remember the name... oh well...

Tree Farm 002

And I finished the Garden Stars last week too... at least to the flimsy stage... not sure if I'll make it a bit bigger.  I want it to be a summer weight quilt and could use it on this bed if it was a tad bigger.  Maybe if I find a tone on tone green leafy sorta nondescript something... right now it's about 68" square.

Garden Stars 019 Garden Stars 018

I need to get myself busy... I've got some cleaning and laundry I've been ignoring.  I'd like to spend a few hours up in my studio and the final NASCAR race is on today. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making Sauerkraut

Let's make some sauerkraut...

You'll need some equipment - which my neighbors Mr. & Mrs. B have.  This is a crock and a stomper...  

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I think the 10 on the side of this crock means it's a 10 gallon.

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Mrs. B picked up 9 heads of cabbage... they are huge!  That's my Big knife and those are quart size jars.

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Mrs. B had already cleaned off the bad leaves and then peeled off some of the outer leaves to use when we are finished... she was all business with her knife.

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This is a wonderful old 3 blade mandolin to shred the cabbage.

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Mrs. B and I got started but we were sure glad to see Mr. B come home.  I don't think either of us could have shredded those last 3 heads.

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Shred the cabbage - put it in the crock...

 Sauerkraut 101 005

Add salt and mix around the first layer

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Then you 'stomp' with the stomper... which breaks down the fiber of the cabbage - releases juice which mixes with the salt... which helps draw more liquid from the cabbage... and on it goes.... shred, fill, salt, stomp...Sauerkraut 101 008

 Sauerkraut 101 009

You can see the puddle of juice...

 Sauerkraut 101 018

When you are finished filling the crock and stomping it's time to top it off with the cabbage leaves you saved.

 Sauerkraut 101 020

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I layered the leaves around - tucking them in around the edges and pushing the cabbage down into the juice as I go.

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This is a big flat stone that they use on top - yes everything has been well sanitized (they've used these rocks for years)

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And then a big heavy stone to keep the cabbage under the liquid.

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Then we tied two layers of cheese cloth around the top to keep bugs out...

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This will sit for 6 weeks fermenting...

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There was about a 1/4 of a head left that we didn't shred - so that came home with me.Sauerkraut 101 029

It got chopped up and cooked down with some onion and Smoked Sausage and we called it dinner!  Yum!

 Sauerkraut 101 030

In six weeks... we'll have sauerkraut!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who'd a Thunk?

Just a few snippets of rambling thoughts here this morning... I'll see if I can be brief... <not easy for me>

Anyhoo... Who'd a Thunk that 'mid-morning' would mean 8:30 AM?  Until this morning it wouldn't have been me.  But as I stood in the kitchen cutting up an apple to go with some peanut butter for my 'mid-morning snack' I had to laugh.  I had a breakfast of 2 slices of french toast at 5:00 AM and I'm starving already.  Yesterday I didn't stop for a snack and then managed to graze my way through the rest of the day... unable to satisfy that rumbly in my tumbly.

In addition to feeding The Engineer before he left - I've cleaned the kitchen, washed 3 loads of laundry, dried 2 to far, folded 3 (don't go doing the math now - some was left from yesterday) and am pondering a couple more... as I type this it's not yet 9:00 AM.  I have also piddled away some time reading blogs, checking email... and I wondered why some of these folks hadn't posted yet??  Yeah it was a duh moment for me... hello it's only 6:00 AM.

A funny visual from the other day - another one of those times I wished I'd had a camera.  As I'm driving home from the quilt shop I usually pass this small herd of dairy cows.  I don't usually pay them much mind - they are just there - although as cows go I'm sure they are 'outstanding in their field'... LOL sorry... couldn't help myself.  Anyway - as I approach this field the other day I notice one single cow running across the field toward the farm.  Have you seen a dairy cow run?  Ain't nothing funnier than a DAIRY COW RUNNING!  Really - cows just don't run gracefully anyway... and with a FULL udder... well... I'm just saying! 

Today... I'm sewing for a few hours... then headed over to Mrs. B's house (my neighbor) after lunch to make sauerkraut.  I didn't get pictures of the 'making sauerkraut' last time - so I'll take my camera today.  I did blog about my first experience in homemade sauerkraut last December.

I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to today.  I finished off my last jar of kraut a couple weeks ago - now I know I've only got to wait another 6 weeks for more!  Mmmm Yummy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Design Wall Monday... 11-9

Finally - I've made up the vine for the other Serendipity blocks.  Here is the single wall unit with Block #2 in the works... all the freezer paper pattern pieces are cut out.  Now to select the fabric to go with them and get the vine stitched in place.

 Design wall Monday 6 001

The double wall unit has the vines for the other blocks... this is just a holding area for now.

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No other progress on the other items. But I do have a stack of block pairs to sew together and hopefully make a quilt out of over the next couple days.  I'll post pictures later when I have some together.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by visiting over at Judy L's Patchwork Times...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Souper Weekend in Color...

A couple weeks ago I used orange cauliflower to make soup... this past Friday I picked up some of the purple cauliflower at The Green Dragon Farmers Market.

I love going there for the produce - I always visit an Amish farmer that has wonderful stuff.  This week I got 3 large heads of cauliflower (2 white and 1 purple) for $3.00.  I blanched most of the white and froze it... some I cooked longer to mash and froze 2 pint containers of mashed cauliflower.

The purple I cut up and put into a pot of chicken stock... the stock turned purple!!  So we had Purple Cauliflower Chicken soup last night...

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I did add light cream to it before serving... made a soft purple broth... sure was yummy!

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I'd like to get some more orange and purple to freeze... I think my granddaugher Miss K will enjoy that when she comes to visit in December.  Just a few short weeks and they'll be here!

So is the soup on at your house?

Stash Report... Week 45

Waaa Hoooo!   I can finally report some usage... 4 yards out of my stash for the Christmas Tree Napkins!  I have 16 napkins - 8 from each pair of fabrics.  Here's the forest...

Christmas Tree Napkins 020

The bottom right 2 have just 3 folds and are therefore chubby and short - the others all have 4 folds and are taller and not as wide.  If you had a fabric with a bigger design element on it - the 3 folds would show off the fabric more...  always nice to have options.

I didn't do anything else quilty this week at home... I've been too tired to be motivated.  This getting up at 4:30 AM has kicked my butt.  I need 7.5 hours of sleep... so it looks like I'm going to have to head to bed for 9 PM for that to work.  Aaauuuuggghhh!  But I'm gonna get my big girl panties on and get over it... hopefully... soon...

So 4 yards out... all from stash!  Nothing in.

Maybe one of these early mornings after The Engineer heads off for the day I'll pull up the spreadsheet and get it caught up.  Maybe...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Forest

The trees are done... at least this set.

Christmas Tree Napkins

I managed to fold a few with the cardinals at the top not sitting upside down.  It's kinda funny the first time you try to fold it backwards - you feel all discombobulated.  I think I'd probably try and avoid using anything with a directional design in the future.

I have one more set to make out of the other fabrics and that will be it for this year. 

It's interesting that all the trees are just a bit different... some are taller and slender and other are short and a bit chubby.  Kinda like real life huh?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas Tree Napkins

I went back up to the studio later on Monday to look at my fabric choices again - then pronounced them Good Enough!

Although I don't usually wash fabric before I used it... I figured since I would be sewing these together for a 2 sided napkin it would be prudent.

I know a couple of you have mentioned that you bought patterns at a show or shop.  I only saw Free patterns when I Googled Christmas Tree Napkins - those were pretty much just half circles.  The freezer paper pattern the ladies from the church were using was a little like a crescent shape in that it was about 20 degrees more than a half circle.

The video I referenced intrigued me.  As I said before - I wasn't inclined to use full double sided circles - but the way she folded it - not quite in half... just about an inch off center gave her a little deeper half circle to work with - I liked that.

Being an FoP by nature (Finagler of Patterns)... I decided I'd work out something myself combining the ideas from what I'd learned.

I want to make an 18" napkin - so on my freezer paper pattern I drew two lines - 18" long and 1" apart.  I used a 9" setting on a compass and drew from the center of the inner line... connecting around to the outer line... just a little more than a half circle. 

I have trees...

Christmas Tree Napkins 002

soon to be a forest...

Well the forest would be done except that I ran into an odd bump in the road last night while I was edge stitching.  The red in the bobbin turned to blue... really... I started sewing in red and when I stopped and cut the thread it was blue... BLUE.  I must have put some red on a blue bobbin and when the red ran out the blue must have been in just the right place to follow along and continue sewing.  I hate the idea of having to pick that out...

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Design Wall - Nov 2

Well... the double design wall unit looks just like it did last week when I posted.  Nothing has changed on any of those projects this week...

My single wall unit is holding up some fabrics I'm looking at for Christmas Tree Napkins and some paper patterns I was playing with along with a larger freezer paper pattern.  I am trying real hard to not go and buy anything new - so I've been digging through my stash... I might just be happy with these combinations the more I look at them.  Maybe I should just go clip the corners and throw them in the wash and be done with it...

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Yesterdays Stash post has a couple links to patterns or ideas for the napkins... so I won't repeat them today.

Geesh... it's only 8:00 am and I feel like I've been up for hours... oh - wait - I have been up for hours!  You know 4:45 AM comes around very early in the morning pretty much in the middle of the night!  The Engineer now leaves at 5:45 AM for a long drive in to work - so the least I can do is get up and make breakfast and coffee for him. 

My other option is to go and get a real job.  Naaah - I don't want a real job!  I like working 12 hours a week at the quilt shop... so I can do this Domestic Diva thing... yawn ---- big s t r e t c h.  The hard part is heading to bed at 9:30 PM but I'll get use to it in time.  Well mostly because I'll be exhausted by then I'm sure.

Check out what's on other design walls at Judy L's blog.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stash Report - of the Fabric Variety...

I accumulated nothing this week... I may or may not be able to resist Christmas fabric next week though.  Just being honest here...

A few customers have been in to the quilt shop the past couple weeks buying fabric for Christmas Tree napkins.  They are pretty much a 1/2 circle of 2 fabrics sewn together and turned - when you fold it - it looks like a Christmas Tree. 

Here is a PDF pattern I found via Google... 4 napkins out of 2 half yard cuts of contrasting fabric.

Or here is a You Tube video - looks like she's using a 2 sided full circle... but I'm still liking the idea of using a half circle - which would be half the fabric of these.

I have a yard or so of a couple things I like in my stash - but not sure that I like them together... so we shall see.

After the post about My Other Stash I've decided to try and spend a little time each week identifying what's in the boxes and getting the boxes organized by type and marked better.  Hopefully I can locate some of the other machine heads I'd like to get out for use or display.

I did finish something this week... the PortaPocket Purse Insert is done.  It's a pattern by Studio Kat Designs.  I had made the larger one last spring but I don't carry a purse that big - this smaller one will be something I can use.  Sorry the picture is dark - the web site above has better pictures.  It was easier to make the second time around... see you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Porta Pocket 001

The idea is that you put all your stuff in this and then you can move this from purse to purse.  Which would resolve the problem I have of leaving all kinds of stuff in purses I stop using... does anyone else do that or am I just strange that way?

So nothing in and nothing out... still no spreadsheet...