Saturday, October 31, 2009

What To Do With Jack

Remove pulp and seeds.

Steam for 40 minutes or until fork test pierces rind.

Cool and scoop from rind with spoon.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie
Place in electric blender:
2 cups fresh steamed pumpkin, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites (more protein, less cholesterol), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 white sugar (I used 1/3 cup Splenda sugar blend) 1/2 baking mix, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg, 1/2 allspice, 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Blend until smooth, scrap sides of blender if needed. Pour into a deep nine inch pie pan that's been spray coated. Bake in the middle of the oven at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves eight, but never lasts long in my house!

This pumpkin was large so I'll freeze it in 2-3 cup containers and use it for pie and bread in November and December. The last few years I've noticed they don't sell pumpkins after October 31st. Huh...

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sewing Room

Because of the new light I suddenly saw how *cluttered* the sewing room is. The room is 10' x 10' and I've been collecting and adding to it for 8 years, when my youngest moved out. I just keep bringing more stuff in and the collection is starting to reach 'critical mass'. I decided after three years of blogging it was time to post pictures of where I sew.

Clockwise starting by the door -

There are two totes and my feather weight tucked under the sewing table.

The design wall is a sheet of foam core board covered with white felt. It's small but better than the piece of batting tacked to the closet door I used to use

My stash is stored under the cutting table in rubbermaid totes and is grouped red/orange/yellow, blue, green/black, pink/purple, white on white/cream/muslin/backgrounds and tan/brown/chocolate. When I stash dive I pull out the tote color I want and literally dive. Lila usually comes from wherever she is in the house and joins in, purring and rubbing against me and the totes. I've decided I must give off a happy vibe that somehow summons her.

This is my clothes closet which doubles as project storage, the boxes are labeled, Lights to be cut, Darks to be cut, 2" squares, 2 1/2" inch squares, 1 1/2" strips - light and dark, etc.

I tried to figure out what I could get rid of to make space in the room, but I can't part with any of it. There's 30 years of fabric collecting and works-in-progress in there. Generally it's comforting to spend time in there; sometimes it's overwhelming to think about. I just try to stay focused on the project at hand and let the rest whisper to me.

More Light on the Subject

The lighting in my sewing room has always been somewhat limited. I have a task lamp over the cutting table, a pole lamp by the sewing machine, a table lamp above the ironing board; still it's not enough. So for my birthday Nathan gave me a ceiling light and the offer to install it. I was de-lighted. :)

Nathan said the first thing to do was make a template the size of the fixture, trace around it on the ceiling and cut the hole. Hey, I can make a template easy. Frank cut the hole, it was a family effort.

Nathan climbed up in the attic to run the electrical wire, oh, after we'd determined which breaker controlled the sewing room light that he was going to tap into, and turned that off. I teased the guys that this picture reminds me of Michaelango's Creation, where God is reaching His hand out to Adam.

Ta-dah! You can see the table lamp in the left background and the task lamp in the right rear, they pale when compared to 120 watts of energy-saver light bulbs. Man what a difference! No more shadows. And I find I don't get as tired as I used to, that's a nice added bonus. Thank you Nathan!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Of Emperors and Kings

I'm in the middle of a large quilt made mostly from stash. It's coming along nicely but needed the infusion of some new fabric. Since the LQS went out of business, I visited the local chain store, searching for a certain shade of purple. Nada. So a week later I drove north into the hills to The Fat Quail.

It was a gorgeous autumn day and perfect for a drive. The destination was in a *small* community where you wouldn't expect to find a quilt store. I was surprised to find there were five cars in the parking lot.

They still have their 'library of fat quaters'. Each card catalog drawer is marked with the type of fat quarters inside. What a great idea.

They didn't have a *lot* of purples to choose from, but fortunately they had one in the right shade.

I prewashed when I got home and was glad I did. Even though it didn't bleed out a whole lot the water was amazingly thick and murky with a film on the surface. I didn't want whatever they used to set the color in my quilt.

Ancient Rome, Egypt, and Persia all used purple as the imperial standard. The source of purple dye often came from insects or fish, therefore purple dyes were rare and expensive and only the rich had access to them. I'm glad all I had to do was drive 45 minutes out of my normal sphere of travel. It sure is a delight to the eye. :)

Saturday Walk

Finally got out of the house Saturday to walk in the golden autumn sunshine. I wasn't fast enough when Frank said, "Look!" Just caught a glimpse of a tawny haunch and tail.

Courtesy of Kim Keating USGS

Maybe he spotted the local flock of wild turkey. Last time I saw them, I counted 22 in the group. Man are turkeys Dumb! The elder will see us and start to move off, the rest will follow and a few stragglers always get left behind. Then they realize they're not with the flock anymore and panic. I've seen a flock walk around a fence, then the straggler dashes to catch up, encounters the fence and doesn't know what to do, dashes back and forth frantically, trying to get through. Can't you fly?? No wonder the first settlers decided on turkey for Thanksgiving, they were easy to hunt.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seen Almost Daily

This week and last.

Picture by SB Panno - Flickr

Last night I was laying on the living room
floor doing my nightly PT stretches when I heard a steady, repeating sound. At first I thought it was a car alarm or electronic noise of some kind, but it gradually got louder. Then I recognized it as geese flying overhead honking in unison. How do they know how to do the things they do?

"Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen in what (He) has made." Romans 1:20

LQG Annual Show

The program indicated 274 quilts, wall hangings and miniatures. I think I made it through three-quarters of the show and went home with my head full of eye candy.
All images are 'click to enlarge'.

Annie's Grandmother's Flower Garden.
Hand pieced, hand quilted, 1944

Detail, click to see the fussy cutting.

Heirloom Quilt
Unfortunately the family didn't have any information on this quilt. The colors are as bright as if it was made yesterday.

Winter Sky

Same pattern as above in red

These last two might've been mystery quilts. It wasn't until I downloaded the pictures that I saw they were the same pattern. It's fun to see how different quilts can be.

Double Wedding Ring - King (note the straight edge finish)

Seeing Double
It doesn't show too well in the photo, but this quilt radiated purple.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Miniature.
This was jaw droppingly beautiful, look at her accuracy and no ribbon??

My Potluck - A challenge quilt.
Guild members exchanged 2 and 1/2" strips of batik in a variety of colors.

My Lucky Quilt
A raffle quilt won by one of the women that worked on the hand quilting.

Celtic Rose

I stood sighing and dreaming over this one. The quilter's applique and hand quilting stitches are heirloom quality. Her choice of fabrics for the miniature roses is breath taking. The pencil bias work was flawless. It hung next to the ribbon winner in its class and I almost threw a tantrum when I saw it.

Rabbit Patch

I don't think judging is as subjective as they'd like us to believe. Yes there's a lot of appliqued rabbits and leaves in the border, but thread used didn't match and the stitches were visible on all pieces. Besides I don't like the color scheme much, brown, lime and pink?

Blue Mountains

Close up of quilting in the set triangle.

What's Your Point?

Indian Summer
These three quilts were hung throughout the show. I grouped them because I wanted to show how different they are. What's Your Point doesn't use half blocks to finish the rows and has a nice off set look as a result. A guild class.

Flying Geese

My Exquisite 3-D Challenge
The points of the stars are three dimensional.

Dreaming of Atlantis

A Box of Chocolates
An original design

As usual after a quilt show I went home tired but happy. Until next year ~

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What Passes for Our Front Yard

The workman came to dig out the stump. He'd show up at 1:30 when it was 106 degrees and work for a couple of hours, then call it quits. It took him a week to dig it out, working away at the roots with his backhoe. One day when I came home it looked like this.

When I looked in the hole, he'd put the stump down inside. I guess that was a proper burial.

If we don't plant grass we'll have mud come the rainy season. But with the water restrictions in our valley do we really want to plant?