Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wll 12/31/2012

Happy New Year to everyone. I have enjoyed more time off of work this past week than I have have in several years.  Back to work on Wednesday but wow, amazing how much can get done each day when you do not have to go to work!!  I am frantically finishing up projects so I an start a new one sometime soon but I am realizing that I really need to finish up some of the many I have started. I am almost done with Mimi's Bloomers, Erin Russek's 2012 BOM so I am just working on setting solutions.  I may have to make an extra block or two (boo hoo) but it should be stunning.  I am planning on doing applique in the corner blocks also!!    Below is the finishing touches for My Whimsical Quilt Garden borders, which are almost done, a few more days and I will be pinning it.  Now to get ready for the Beginning Machine Quilting Class I am taking in a week or so!!  So excited because there is hope I can get some of these projects completely finished up, quilted and bound, so I can start the next wonderful applique project.  Remember to check out the rest of the design walls on Judy's blog.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 12/17/2012

 Not much going on this week, I have my Whimsical Quilt Garden quilt on the wall as I plan the applique for the border.  The pattern shows circles, lots of circles, but I think I will go with some of the flowers and birds from the pattern.  Just need to start getting it done!!  I start my new job today so I have a feeling my productivity on quilts will fall a bit as I figure out my new job.   Really looking forward to the challenge so I think it will be fun!!!  Yes, I am bringing my usual bag of applique with to work in case I have large amounts of down never know!!  Wish me luck!  Check out the other design walls on Judy's blog.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

DWM 12/10/2012 Quilting Heaven!

 Wow, my quilt group, Spring Chicks, met last Tuesday and we officially finished our strip exchange.  To the left are all my strips!!  YUMMM.  I did row 3 and row 6 but the rest were done by my group and I am so thrilled.  This will be a breeze to put together and make beautiful.    Below are my last three remaining blocks for my mini-Baltimore album quilt and Block 11 for Miss Mimi, Erin Russek's BOM.   I have had a blast working on each project and I can't wait to finish these as I have three or four more projects waiting!   I am also getting ready for Cindy Needhams' Beginning Quilting class in January...I am ESSing as many of my quilts as possible (stitching in the ditch Every Stinking Seam).  I have 2.5 completed and I hope to have one or two more done by class time.  I feel the need to be ready to go when I walk into the class.    I need to pry information out of her as I only have three days to learn everything I can about machine quilting and I have the feeling that time will FLY!!

I am loving every minute I get to sew each day and I am really looking forward to the holidays.  I will be able to take almost a week and a half off and only use three vacation days!!  All my kids will be home for the holidays and I am hoping for multiple family meals, a few game nights and at least three or four family nights watching a good movie or two! I just need to make it through the next two weeks and I will be good to go!!   Remember to check out Judy's blog and see all the other design walls.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 12/3/2012

 Merry Christmas to me!!  I purchased my new Juki 2010TQ last week after I officially accepted my new position of Development Analyst at UC Davis.  Wow, quite a week, new job and the sewing machine arrived days early!  I spent an exciting weekend reading the instruction manual and beginning to attempt to quilt quilts.  I am following Cindy Needham's instructions of ESS (every stinking seam) and sewing every stinking seam, which takes quite a while!!  Now that I can quilt my own quilts, the possibilities are endless!! 

One question if any one can answer, a bit of machine oil got on one quilt, any way to get it off?? 

Remember to check out Judy's blog to see all the other design walls.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 11/26/2012 INSANITY

Yes, insanity!!  I am officially insane.  I received a package in the mail on Wednesday, an applique pattern.  I was so excited, I sat right down and began to read the pattern, thinking about what fabric I would use.....SERIOUSLY?  I have umteen projects in progress that I have not finished and I am planning on starting another one???  I am insane.  By the way, the pattern was Karen Kay Buckley's Fiesta Mexico (drool).  I spent the entire weekend working on my UFO's and made huge progress.  I finished P3Design's BOM!  I finished all but three blocks on my mini-Baltimore album quilt, I am ready to finish the 4th border for my red and green Baltimore Album and I am currently assessing what I am going to do with Miss Kyra.  Add the single flowers or not...leaning toward not!  They look too small in the space. 

I almost forgot, I also put the white border on My Whimsical Quilt Garden quilt. Now I just have to prepare the applique border pieces.  I finished the blocks in April...took long enough to put the border on. Other than all that, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family.  All the kids were home and it was SO NICE to have everyone under one roof!!! I am so thankful that everyone is healthy, happy and safe, if only for the weekend.  My daughter headed back to school on Friday morning so she could cheer at the basketball game for school.The payoff for her will be a nice long Christmas holiday as she did her "required" holiday game already.  College kid #2 heads back today (Monday) so we enjoyed a very long weekend with him.    Remember to check out Judy's blog and see all the other design walls, my favorite part of Monday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 11/19/2012

Another great week and I finished up a few more blocks on my Baltimore Album quilt.  I also finished up the four block needed to sew together my P3 Design BOM.  I had a blast putting these blocks and cannot wait to work on the remaining borders for the P3Design quilt.  Short work week this week and I am hoping to get a lot of quilting and cooking done!!  Remember to check out Judy's blog and all the rest of the design walls!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 11/5/2012

The first of four blocks for the P3Design BOM from earlier this year.  Three more to do go and then I can work on the border.  It has been a slow week as I have been working on finishing up projects, handquilting my Hawaiian quilt and finishing up the borders for my Baltimore Album quilt.    Remember to check out the rest of the design walls on Judy's blog.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 10/21/2012

I had another productive week as  I have put together five more blocks for my little Baltimore Album quilt.  I am so enjoying this project!   I only work on sewing the blocks when I am away from home as I have larger projects to work on when I am home.  Between my hand quilting projects and getting more applique ready to sew, my home time is taken!!  I am planning on getting other projects ready to finish up this week and I may have to take my "October Promise" into November just to start cleaning out the projects!

 As part of my October promise, I am still working on my UFO's and the Lil'Twister quilt below is one of those.  I purchased border fabric for it ages ago but did not know how to do them.  This afternoon I pulled out Judy's book, 60 Pieced Borders and just did the math!!  Took a while, a bit of trial and error but it finally worked. 
I love how this turned out and I am looking forward to attempting to machine quilt it as I just finished the Crafty Class, Design it Quilt it by Cindy Needham, dang it, I think I can actually do it.  GREAT CLASS worth every penny!  I am going to see how ESS (Every Stinking Seam) works out so wish me luck!!

Remember to check out Judy's Blog and see all the other walls

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 10/15/2012

 Another productive week! I was able to finish off three more blocks for my mini-Baltimore Album.  I am enjoying this so much I have a dilemma.  Do I just do them quickly and enjoy every minute or do I slow down and savor each one?? This is like reading a great book so fast that it is over way to quickly.  Sigh!  I was able to attend the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara California on Friday.  I had a great time and actually purchased a new applique pattern, I bought P3 Designs Baltimore Halloween.  It looks like so much fun but I will be waiting to start the quilt, as I am trying to finish up some already started projects.
 I went from PIQF in Santa Clara to visit my daughter in San Luis Obispo for Parent Weekend at Cal Poly.  This is her senior year, her last year to cheer for the college and I had a great time visiting with her, attending her lunch for her sorority and then the Cal Poly football game.  There is a picture of her below cheering for the team, in the group picture she is somewhere at the bottom of the pyramid!  She is hoping her competition stunt squad makes the national competition and wins enough to go back to compete in Florida at spring break! 

 Below is my actual design wall, and yes it is pieced.  I was cleaning out my closet the other week and came across the stack of blocks on a shelf.  I made these after taking Margaret Miller's class several years ago, I just made the blocks for fun but never did come up with a setting solution.  Here is one idea, but I will be trying several over the next week, maybe on point???  The amazing part is the put the blocks away with the rest of the fabric!  YIPPEE! I have all the stuff to finish it off!

 My beautiful daughter, cheering for her team at the football game!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 10/8/2012

Wow, what a great week, I am keeping my promise and working on my UFO's, every evening, every day but I am also managing to get more blocks done on my latest applique project!!  So much fun.  My reward for two hours of work on another project is an hour or two on this project!!  I hope to have pictures next week of something (anything at this point) finished.  You never know, it could be all 25 blocks of this quilt!!  Don't forget to check out the rest of the design walls on Judy's blog!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baked Ziti Monday! Too good to miss

Baked Ziti
Serves 8 to 10
The test kitchen prefers baked ziti made with heavy cream, but whole milk can be substituted by increasing the amount of cornstarch to 2 teaspoons and increasing the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes. Our preferred brand of mozzarella is Dragone Whole Milk Mozzarella. Part-skim mozzarella can also be used, but avoid preshredded cheese, as it does not melt well. For tips on cooking with cottage cheese, see related How To Cook.
  • 1 pound whole milk cottage cheese or 1 percent cottage cheese (see note)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  •   Table salt
  • 1 pound ziti or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  •   Ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see note)
  • 8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups) (see note)
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander (do not wash Dutch oven).
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, and ¾ cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
  • 4. Transfer pasta mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • 5. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 10/1/2012

 Good Morning!  I vowed last week to start finishing up some of my UFO's, no more starting new projects when I have so many in progress.  Well, I kept that vow until I went to Quilting in the Garden last weekend and purchased the Miss Emilie's Garden pattern from In Between Stitches in Livermore California.  I was in love!!  Pulled fabric and already put together the first four blocks.  Oh well, so much for my vow!  I did finish up Block 9 of Mimi's Bloomers so at least I got that done!!!    I am keepig my promise by working on my UFO's, at least one, each night!!  I hope to have some finished up in the next couple of weeks.   Don't for get to check out Judy's Blog to see the rest of the design walls!  Happy Quilting everyone!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 9/24/2012

What a great weekend!  I went to Quilting in the Garden located at the Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, California and got to meet, and take a picture with, Alex Anderson.  I am on the right with my friend Julie on the left.  We had a great day seeing all the quilts hanging up in the nursery and then we visited two quilt shops on the way home.  FUN!!  I did pick up a couple of new projects, two if which are below.  I purchased Alex Anderson's pattern for The Grape Escape (which she signed) and even purchased some fabric for it and then pulled the rest from my stash.  I also found this FANTASTIC mini-Baltimore Album style quilt called Miss Emilie's Garden.  So cute, blocks finish at 5.25, and looks like a great hand project. 

 I seem to be having a few computer issues so I am unable to upload a bunch of my pictures from the quilt event but at least I was able to get these few up and running.    Don't forget to check on Judy's blog to see all the other design walls!!  I am sure I will have MASSIVE updates next week as I sink my teeth into these new projects (and I only have 5-6 on going ones also).  Yikes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Afternoon...

 You know it is a long day when you plan dinner at lunch!!!  This sounds so good!

Easier Fried Chicken
Serves 4
A whole 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, can be used instead of the chicken parts. Skinless chicken pieces are also an acceptable substitute, but the meat will come out slightly drier. A Dutch oven with an 11-inch diameter can be used in place of the straight-sided sauté pan.
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Table salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix, with breasts cut in half), trimmed of excess fat (see note)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  1. 1. Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  2. 2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
  3. 3. Heat oil in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach -correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday Morning Design Wall 9/17/2012

Not too much new on the design wall this week but I am working away on my Hawaiian Quilt with a twist.  I enjoy hand quilting but I wish the cooler temperatures would start already.  Would love to see temperatures in the low 80's or high 70's when hand quilting as the temperatures in the high 90's make it a bit warm with the weight of the quilt!!   I am finishing my Strip Exchange section for my Spring Chicks meeting but I cannot show it in case any of my group is checking out the blogs!!  I will show it next week.  The surprise is great and worth the wait!!!!  Remember to check out the other walls on Judy's blog!!