Sunday, November 30, 2014

Frosted Rosebuds

I made a quilt for my Mom to match her bedroom decor. We talked about patterns and colors on the phone and I drafted sample layouts in Electric Quilt. It was called Framed Nine patch.

We put color swatches and fabric samples in the mail to each other. Then I ordered the fabrics online. Ordinarily being a blue-green girl, it was fun to work with a different color palette. So pretty.

I could use speed piecing methods to construct the blocks. I made the Nine patch blocks first. I often have to share the ironing board with Spunky.

Here I'm cutting the frames for the Nine patch blocks.

And I used the usual piecing method for the snowball blocks.

It was such a pleasure to work on, it just fell together!

The minute I spread a quilt-in-progress on the floor to measure, Spunky's right there. Cats and quilts, what can you do?

I named it Frosted Rosebuds. It's at the quilter's. I can't wait to see it. Happy 88th Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crosses and Losses - Quilt of Valor

I finished the QoV quilt top the first week of July.

When I shared it at Show n Tell at guild, someone asked me the name of the block. I was surprised I didn’t know. When I got home I looked it up in Maggie Malone’s 1,001 Patchwork Patterns. It’s called Crosses and Losses, a Biblical block that was published in 1931. It’s a renaming of the block Fox and Geese. This pattern was created during the Civil War to represent the standoff for control of Fort Sumter in 1861. I didn’t know if Bobbie knew the block’s history when she chose it for her Quilt of Valor, but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate pattern.

I talked to a local long-arm quilter and asked if she’d be willing to do the machine quilting for me. She was excited to participate in my Quilt of Valor and we talked about quilt designs. I wanted something soft and curved to balance the strong geometrics. She said she’d have it done by the next meeting.

When it came back, I added the finishing touches by creating a label and a matching pillow case for it to travel in.

It felt good to help one of our wounded servicemen or women in some small way.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Touch of Tiffany

We've changed the lamp in the dining room.

And DH installed a dimmer switch, which is a nice feature. It's brighter and I really like the statement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lacto-fermented Foods

I've discovered lacto-fermented foods. Easy, fast and so tasty. It's another great way to preserve food, without a hot water bath in the canner.

Zucchini with Bermuda onion, 
fresh pineapple chutney with Italian parsley and 
purple tomatillo salsa with corn
Lacto-fermented foods, also known as cultured foods, are rich in probiotics that help balance the intestinal flora. This in turn allows food to digest better and our bodies to absorb the nutrients more completely. The following is a quote from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

Besides, they taste so good. I top cottage cheese or yogurt with any one of these for a great snack.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Evening Breeze Lace Tank Finished

I finished the pieces for this tank awhile ago, but I needed to learn crochet in order to finish the neck edge and armholes. I found a terrific tutorial on YouTube. Very Pink Knits showed me everything I needed to know to learn to crochet and work the shell stitch. Yay!

It looks like a cable, but the effect is created by moving increases and decreases. Worked from a pattern called Evening Breeze in Knitter's magazine, 2004.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Color Blocked Tee

Inspired by the colors of autumn I decided to make a tee shirt to reflect the beauty and variety of the trees.

I started with a basic cotton tee shirt from Big Lots.

I went to my box of pre-cut 2" squares and pulled out gold, rust, green and orange.

I started the layout down the middle of the front and worked my way out toward the sides.

It turned out the tee shirt was asymmetrical, with more width on one side then the other. So I changed the layout from centered down the middle to a space in the middle. When I used all the pre-cut squares, I went to my fabric collection for similar colors and prints and cut additional squares.

Once it was laid out, I tacked the squares in place with a bit of washable glue stick. Then I took a picture to check the overall color balance and placement.

I took several out, they were either too dark, too bright or stuck out for some reason.

Then I sewed them in place using a straight stitch, like raw-edge applique.

It'll soften the more I wash it. It's warm too, because of the layers.