Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring, where are you?

We've had another weekend snow 'event'.  The weathermen don't want to call it a's an 'event'.  Same difference.

 It makes for some pretty views but we're sick and tired of cold snowy weather. 

The view out the backdoor. 

The further the sun came up the shinier everything got.  It really is pretty but it will be April tomorrow.  Enough. 

In the mean time the sewing goes on.

I keep trying to get a decent photo of this little cutie. 

Last summer Temecula Quilt Company  had a 'little' summer project.  We were to make one 2" Cake Stand block each day in July. 

At the end of July they would reveal some lay-out idea .  I love tiny blocks so I sewed 31 little Cake Stand blocks and anxiously awaited the big reveal.  Each lay-out involved making additional blocks so that was disappointing because by the end of the month I was DONE making 2" blocks.  I left the blocks on the floor and tried a couple different things and finally made the little table topper. 

 I tried to get some close ups but my 'helper' felt that I was focusing on the wrong thing. 

On a totally different front....on the subject of irons and ironing.  All quilters know the song and dance.  You buy an expensive iron and it lets you down.  You buy a cheap iron and it lets you down.  You replace your iron and it lets you down.  On the positive side of the equation I had a GE cordless iron that lasted and lasted.  When the finish wore off the bottom and the water reservoir began leaking I bought this Panasonic cordless.  Knock on's holding its own.

I also bought this Rowenta travel iron for classes and retreats.  I love it.  It holds a nice amount of water and is just large enough to do a good job.  Then the folding handle gave way at my last retreat.  Apparently that's what happens to these.  I was contemplating throwing it away when another quilter gave me an idea.  She said to wedge a penny into the base of the handle. 

Sure enough, it does the trick.  I can't fold it up without working the penny out but so far I don't care about that.

Now, if I could just get my everyday iron up to par.  I had a Black and Decker I really liked but it quit in less than a year!  I went and bought what I thought was the same iron but it has a rougher bottom and doesn't glide like it should.  As if ironing isn't enough of a chore...I don't need the iron working against me. 

And, finally, as a new twist to the whole iron problem.  I BROKE MY IRONING BOARD!  That's a new one. 

Since you hung on through all that other is a photo as Buttercup headed off to her senior prom.
 This girls is a true prom queen.  We counted.  She's been to 6 high school proms!  Phew.  Despite the ugly weather they all had a great time. 

Aren't they just like peas in a pod?  You know they belong together. 

Happy Monday.  I'm off to my sewing room between loads of laundry. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

A little DIY.

Store bought granola makes me feel like I'm chewing rocks and glass and that a tooth is going to break at any second.  I really like granola but it's too darn hard to chew. 

A friend recently talked about making her own granola so I started looking for a recipe.

I found just the right one in the March/April 2014 issue of Taste of the South's Annual Breakfast Issue. I modified the original recipe to eliminate the almonds and substituted 1 cup of dried cranberries.  The original recipe called for 1 cup slivered almonds and 1 cup pecans.  That just sounded like more nuts than I wanted.   

Toss together 2 cups Oatmeal,  1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup chopped nuts in a bowl.


Measure 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup honey and 3 tablespoons brown sugar into a pan.  Simmer until the sugar is dissolved.

Toss everything but the fruit together and spread it on a greased baking sheet.  Bake in a 275' preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

I tossed in 1 cup of dried cranberries in place of the slivered almonds after it was done baking, let it cool, then stored it in an airtight container.

The only thing I would do differently is add 2 cups of dried cranberries.  I would have liked more cranberry flavor.

This recipe is so simple and tastes great.  I made another batch using dried pineapple and unsweetened coconut.  It is delicious just plain, in a bowl with milk or on top of yogurt.

My next concoction will involve dates and walnuts.

I'd welcome any other combinations you can think of.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A wee finish.

Not exactly a St. Patrick's Day finish but I finished it on the 17th.

Homespun Elegance's 2010 Sampler Ornament.  It was a cute little piece to stitch but too big to be a hanging ornament.  I used a little bit of the backing fabric between the stitching and the wool plus some fancy stitching on the wool to add interest.  Hardly an elaborate finish but it will be cute in a basket or bowl of holiday smalls.

I have a pile of smalls to finish.  I'm not sure when I'll feel motivated to work on them but one is more than none!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A blizzard with no name...

Weathermen love to name storms, right?  This is the first winter I've ever heard of our snow storms being given names.  I fully expected this latest storm, now declared a blizzard, to have a name.  I think the weathermen are just thrilled to learn it's really and truly a 'blizzard'.  Also, they're feeling smug about predicting it correctly and that the Weather Channel has sent someone to stand out in it and report to the nation. 

We're a tough breed, here in western NY.  We can take it.  Our houses are tough, we have lots of practice driving in it, we even cancel school....most of the time...and have enough food in the pantry to hold us over.  No last minute rush to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk.  I've always wondered what people would do with all that bread and milk.  Eat lots of french toast, maybe. 

However it plays out...I'm hanging out in my sewing room.  Lots of work happening there.  I won't be showing any WIP's though.  Not my style. 

Don't despair, I do have something photo worthy. 

I've finished the Friendship Star quilt I made in anticipation of a friend under going chemotherapy for breast cancer.  It is throw or lap size.

My quilt inspector watched from the ottoman but didn't get on it.  He has such nice manners.

The quilting is a flowing ribbon and heart pattern.

I washed it to give it that plush crinkled look.  Also, it is being given with the purpose of being dragged around a little and I thought prewashing was a good idea.  I didn't want her to think she'd ruined it if she washed it for the first time and pulled a crinkly mess out of the dryer. 

The back is a tiny pink check.

I made this even though I don't know if she'll end up having chemotherapy.  I've had the fabric and pattern for several years.  If I have to tuck it away for someone else, that will be alright. It just means I have one less project box in my stash.  I can just tuck it away with the baby quilts I've made just in case I need a baby related quilt gift.  You can't just whip these things up at the drop of a hat!

Back to the cave.  Many projects await.