Saturday, March 27, 2010

Andee's Schnibbles Obsession

I think that my friend Andee has a Schnibbles obsession!

Here is her ?third Schnibbles [I think] this one in CW-ish fabrics. The Bow Tie block pattern too is traditional, and I like the combination, it's very pretty.

The back is a surprise, what fun to make it so different and totally reversible!

I think Andee intends to use it for a table topper to be flipped over from one theme to the other depending on her mood!

Only problem, how to quilt it appropriately when the styles of front and back are so very different. In the long run, I chose a swirly freehand that compliments the traditional setting and doesn't look out of place with the modern, and a neutral thread that doesn't fight with any thing at all.
Enjoy, Andee and congrats on another cute quilt!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shakespeare Quilt, Finished For Friday,

Just barely done in time, I only completed the binding about a half hour ago so I thought I'd do a late FFF post! Friend Loretta commented earlier that she was expecting to see it, so here just for you 'Retta, Shakespeare In The Park,dada!

I had originally planned to custom quilt each block but decided that was really not within my time constraints so I chose an overall free-hand swirly design in white thread that I think compliments it well.

The quilt itself is a very opinionated design so it really doesn't need any custom quilting to emphasize it.

The backing is a combination of two red fabrics from stash, neither was quite large enough and this way it is fun and interesting from the back too.

There was enough of the beautiful red rose on black fabric for binding, nice, because it also gets all but a few scraps of that out of my stash and it has been there a loooong time, maybe 15 yrs!
Just have to make a label now, maybe tomorrow and I want to take some pics in daylight and see if they turn out better, the flash seems to bounce off the white fabric.
I love this quilt design and I have already begun on another, it will have more red, less black and will be a bit smaller, more square. This one is around 60"x80".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

VTT 1920 Lady's Desk

This charming little desk, circa 1920, I found at a used furniture store a few years ago. I was in need of a small desk for my laptop when we are at the CO. house and I knew this was the perfect solution. Apart from that, I loved it at first sight, it reminded me of one my dear Aunty Al had [I think one of my sisters has it now]. It's mahogany and was in need of a refinish-and yes I know that reduces any value for antiquity, but for $75 I was more concerned with aesthetics.
A piece of the top of one of the graceful Queen Anne legs had been replaced with a very ugly and inappropriate bit of wood- that had to be corrected.
I was fortunate to be able to find a local carpenter in CO. who made a new piece that matched perfectly, very reasonable cost too. Other than that, one of the unusual old style hinges you can see in the photo below, needs fixing but I haven't figured out how to get that done. Meantime it works OK, and I am very careful opening and closing it so as not to cause further damage on the rare occasion when I need to open or close the flap.

I forgot to pull out the writing tray and take a pic. of it, drat, but maybe I'll do that another day.
Once I removed the old finish and sanded it down, I used a mahogany finish to protect the wood and I am delighted with this bargain-at least I think it was a very good buy and it is the perfect solution for a laptop desk.
Thanks for coming by, now blog on over to Colorado Lady to check out all the other VTT participants!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Newest Teenager.....and More Snow!

Happy birthday Logan! This is not the way the week was supposed to go, but this young fellow is a gem! So cheerful and never whining though he has cause to do so!

We made Chocolate Lava Cakes to celebrate the day.

With a little cream to top them off.

He is somewhat of a chocaholic, wonder where he gets that?! He is without doubt the cutest 13 year old I know [there is no prejudice at all there! ]

We sang Happy Birthday and then enjoyed the lava cakes, two DGS on the right and their friend on the left.

We awoke this morning to a major spring storm and it snowed all day depositing another 2-3 ft. of the wet white stuff! As I write at 10.30 pm it is still snowing!

Two big boys went over to Telluride and snowboarded all day, we visited neighbors this afternoon and after two hours this is what the Avalanche looked like!

DH had to park the car about 100ft. from the neighbors house so we wouldn't get stuck so we wore boots and carried our shoes. It was snowing so hard it covered our footprints within a minute, I dropped a shoe on the way back to the car and by the time I trudged back 50ft. to look for it the snow had covered the shoe! And it was so deep my boots were full of it!

I took pics with the zoom lens from the neighbor's house of the snowplow clearing our drive but by the time we returned home there was another foot of snow.

A really gigantic storm and since it's still coming down we hope the plow comes by early in the morning to dig us out so we can head back to AZ.
PS. the plow came in early and we drove slowly most of the way to Cortez over slippery, black-ice/packed snow.
Long day but we made it safely to AZ.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finished For Friday-The Dresden Plate Flimsie

Well, finished to flimsie anyway, it still needs to be quilted but getting this far was an accomplishment because hand sewing is not my forte and this required a bit to get it to this stage.
Yesterday at Huggy Bunch I worked on putting the blocks together and today got the border on this vintage 30's quilt. Thirteen came already hand appliqued along with another 5 pieces of muslin and a half dozen or so extra "plates" so I hand appliqued another 5 to make 18 for this on point setting.

Wait a minute, I had that all nice and flat Button! It never fails when ever I lay one of my tops/quilts on the floor Miss Button has to park herself on it! It's as if she is saying "Yeah Mum, this is a good one ."
Client quilts of course never touch the floor, they just go on the LA, but I often toss my own in- progress tops down to see how they look and before I can say a thing Button appears from nowhere and walks over and lays down to give them the nod! On the rare occasion these days that I hand bind a quilt she likes to come lay on the part that hangs off my lap! Dogs are so strange, don't you wonder what goes through those little heads?
I am loving this quilt and it's a keeper-I bought the blue replica fabric for the setting triangles and border and I think it complements the old fabrics in the plates quite nicely. I want to use wool for batting and muslin for backing and I'll quilt it with feathers. Can't wait to get a few other tops done so I can quilt this!
If you'd like to see the other Friday Finishes you can visit Litandlaundry who is hosts this celebration!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Broken Arm!

This is Thursday I know but the item I wanted to show for VTT is currently unavailable for photographing!
Instead you get a few pics of my brave wounded snowboarder, who now misses out on his Spring Break snow-sports due to a broken arm. Bummer!
Monday GS#2 fell while snowboarding. X-rays at the Medical Center confirmed the injury and the arm was splinted with instructions to see the orthopedist today to get a cast. So he has to hang out with Grandmother the remainder of the week and as some compensation, Tuesday we went into Ouray while the others went to the slopes. We love this little mining camp town with it's quaint architecture and laid-back lifestyle.

After Lunch and a visit to Mouse's Chocolate Shop that of necessity involved the consumption of chocolate, we found him a cool new hoodie. Unfortunately our other favorite stop, The Toy Shop, is closed on Tuesday! Double bummer!

Here he is with Button.

He chose a green cast for St. Patrick's Day.
He really is a cheerful uncomplaining chap about the entire unfortunate incident and the proof is in the picture!
For all of this and more-the cuteness factor alone-he gets his own blog day!
He will be a teenager on Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Snowy Sunday

We drove into Ridgway yesterday evening with clear skies and mild [for here] temp. of 30 degrees.
We did not expect to awake in the morning to this!

Another blizzard.......

that darned old Gorebal warming!

The guys have been over in Telluride snowboarding............

so I have had a quiet day.

I had planned to take Button on a long walk but not in this blizzard.
As if a day on the slopes wasn't enough with Daylight Savings Time they have an extra hour of light so to top it all off the boys are now off on the snowmobile!

And sledding!

Here's Button watching over the snow plow!

I made crockpot lasagna -if you haven't tried it I doubt you'll ever go back to the oven kind once you make it this way. Everyone loves it and it is so easy, perhaps the best I have ever had!
And did I say easy? And no crusty pan to scrub either.

Here's my version of the recipe, it's great for a hungry crowd it makes a lot. Six hungry guys ate large portions [and some had seconds] and yours truly, and there's a large portion left. So I figure it feeds ten adults. I use low fat ricotta and mozarella so it's pretty healthy too and economical! What more can you ask?

1 lb. ground meat browned- I use turkey
28 ozs. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1 tsp Italian seasoning
10-12 lasagna noodles uncooked- I use whole wheat
32 ozs. carton ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh grated pecorino or Romano cheese
4 cups grated mozarella
handful of parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Mix lightly beaten egg, ricotta, chopped parsley, S and P and pecorino or Romano cheese. Set aside.
Mix browned ground meat, Italian seasoning, spaghetti sauce and crushed tomatoes[or puree] together. Spray the inside of crockpot with Pam, then cover the bottom with a few tablespoons of the meat sauce.
Break up noodles to fit and place a layer over the meat sauce.
Cover noodles with a layer of meat sauce, then the ricotta mixture then a cup of mozarella and continue for another couple of layers until you run out of ingredients, usually about 3 layers depending on whether your crockpot is tall and narrow or short and wide!
I finish with a layer of noodles, meat sauce and mozarella.
Cover, cook on high for 30 mins, then another 3-4 hrs. on low.
The noodles will be cooked and the result is delicious!

PS. In case you really don't trust that the noodles are cooked through, take a long skewer and poke it down through the layers and you will see that it is indeed done! That's what I did the first time I made it, LOL!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finished For Friday

Yesterday I put this sweet little girl's quilt on the LA to try and get it done today before we head off for another week of snow with the GS's and a friend.

I had removed the last quilt and decided when I looked at the tops awaiting quilting that I wouldn't put on another and have to leave it half quilted. But then I got Andee's quilt and it was just the right size to get done today so I got a good start on it last night and just now finished it- BJ will deliver it for me tomorrow at the AZ. Quilt Show.

The pics. turned out different colors because the first I took with the flash and the second without. The color is more like the first pic, pink, but brighter. That's why it's good to take your quilt pics in natural daylight you get truer color but not sunlight, that can wash out the colors too . Of course if you have a fancy camera and/or great photo software skills you can overcome all those issues! Me, I am pretty much a point and shoot!
This quilt top is all batiks but the backing is not. I know some quilters have problems with skipped stitches and other issues on batik quilts but I am fortunate with the A-1 machine to be able to get them done usually without any issues and this one was no exception. Occasionally I have encountered some thread breakage when both top and backing were batik, I think because those particular fabrics were especially dense. On one Kaffe Fasset quilt I had trouble every time I encountered two particular fabrics and I decided that they were much tighter weave, so I tried to slow down and quilt as little as possible in those areas!
I quilted Andee's with that beautiful King Tut variegated thread from Superior, it's the best thread, and about the most expensive quilting thread, I wince when I order it!

The backing is a cute girly print, the bobbin thread is Superior Bottom Line that works so well when you don't want obvious stitching to show, I used a medium pink.
So it is finished for Friday and you can see some other bloggers finishes at Lit And Laundry

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

VTT Vintage/Antique Gold Marcasite Watch

Last week I missed VTT, I have been quilting a lot, and this week I am setting up my Etsy shop. As many quilts as I give away I still accumulate a collection that haven't found a suitable home so I decided to see if they would be a marketable commodity at Etsy. I'll let you know how it goes, it would be nice to help support my habit, LOL. If you would like to take a peep at what I have up so far I have posted a link in my sidebar under my profile. If you have a critique please email me, I haven't ever done anything like this before so I am open to any suggestions.
This week I am running late to post for VTT so I will show just one item, a watch that is very special to me
It's very unusual, gold marcasite. Most marcasite I see is silver and the only gold I could find was "gold tone" or "gold overlay". This dainty watch is 14 or 18 carat gold [and I can't remember which] but it was made by Olymp, a watchmaker that seems no longer to be in business!
It belonged to a favorite aunt who was very good to me and, very sadly, died of Alzheimer's disease. It hurt to see that clever, witty lady lose her mind and her life to this terrible disease.
Aunty Al [Alison] was a school principal, a pretty, petite maiden lady, handicap golfer, avid gardener and a real fashion plate!
My Mum and Dad gave her the watch around 1952, and she wore it almost constantly for the rest of her life. When I received the watch about twenty years ago I took it to a jeweler who restores antique watches and he told me that the tiny workings were so worn as to be beyond repair. Rather than wear it only as an ornament I had the jeweler replace the worn clock works with a tiny digital one so I would have a working timepiece.

I dearly love and treasure it beyond the actual monetary value and wear it regularly, remembering the one who owned it and those who gave it to her.
Now please visit our hostess Colorado Lady for a list of other VTT bloggers and their vintage thingies!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quilts For Dolphin House

As of yesterday these three flimsies are quilted. They were sent to me by a new quilter, whose "name has been with -held to protect the innocent", LOL.

They are part of her learning experience as a quilter and are destined for Dolphin House , a safe haven for families escaping abuse.
There is always a need for quilts and my quilt group in Montrose, CO. is active in supporting this organization as part of their community outreach. One of the group will bind and deliver them to the Dolphin House.
They are each about 50"x60", cheerful and warm and will be a comfort I hope to children recovering from traumatic experiences. I used the new [to me] Quilter's Dream Green batting, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. It's light and sturdy and will stand up to repeated washing very well.
They are quilted with edge to edge freehand designs, the first with a square spiral and the other two with different swirly patterns.
One more top was also quilted yesterday, the strip scrap quilt that I made recently- I will photograph it as soon as the binding is done.
Today I have the beautiful baby Matthew so I don't plan to accomplish much else than spending time with him! He is too cute for words [IMHO] now saying dadadad though I wonder if he knows who that is! No park today it's mostly raining and chilly out.

Baby Matthew loves his own remote control-an inoperable one without batteries- heaven help us, are all males born with a magnetic attraction to electronics?! He goes after every phone, camera, remote or any other electronic-looking device!
It should soon be time for a nap [for the baby!] and maybe I can get the strip-scrap quilt bound while sleeping babies lay!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Having been AWOL [ Absent Without Leave] this week from blogland, I will keep my Saturday post short and sweet! No reason in particular for the absence, just family and life you know?

Today I met up with some quilty friends I have come to know mostly online- we visited a new [to me] quilt shop in Tempe and chatted loooong over lunch with some show and tell to enliven the event!
Andee has posted a pic over on her Facebook page.

This afternoon I finished Andee's Christmas Lights quilt, a Bonnie Hunter Mystery from 2009 Quiltmaker Magazine. I had hoped to deliver it today but just couldn't get done in time.
Fortunately Andee probably won't need to use this quilt now till next Christmas season, plenty of time for her to bind it.

Another spectacular scrap quilt with some very unexpected colors! Up close and personal with this quilt I was surprised to find purple-can you find a purple piece? In person it looks much more festive, I think the camera has washed out the colors a bit, even so I love it.
Nice work Andee!

This evening DH and I dined bountifully at the Ocean Club with oldest DS & DIL. Dined [as in past tense] the wonderful food had been eaten and table cleared for coffee and port. You can take my word for it that Ocean Club is a fine dining experience for a special celebration, the Seafood Tower is a gourmet delight.
Now I am off to bed since I am unable to type without constant errors, that means I am beyond weary!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rita's Quilt

Here is the finished quilt all ready to offer some comfort I hope to a lovely lady.
In case you don't recognize my odd arrangement of the blocks this is actually the BQ2 pattern!
It was an experimental setting that really didn't impress me but I didn't have the mojo to unpick and re-sew, 'nuff said 'bout that!
An added border makes a generous lap size to wrap up in, about 65"x75".

During the first couple of steps I made a major booboo in block construction and in the interests of transparency, LOL, I will reveal my "misstep" - I made twenty 6.5" blocks instead of twenty 9.5". What to do? Hmmmm, quilts have lots of seams, they have many small bits sewn together to make larger bits and so on, who is to say one cannot join up the smaller blocks to become bigger blocks?
So I did!
If you zoom on the quilt pic. you may be able to find some of those pieced blocks combined with some that were the correct size in the first place! Good luck though, they blend in very well.
Now if I had not told you would you have ever noticed? Probably not.
It's a quilt.

I love the colors and I quilted it with an all-over folk-art sort of flower resembling the flowers in the Valori Wells focus fabric. The binding was left over from a project about 18 months ago when I made way more double fold bias binding than I needed- would you believe about 12 yards more in fact, and there's enough left of it still to bind one more quilt!

The backing is a cheerful beachy print from Bernina Connection, 75% off and I have yet more of it because I purchased the end of the bolt.
Everything came from stash, happy dance!
Oh, I have to make a label yet!
Andee's Christmas Lights is next on the LA- I am playing with baby Matthew most days this week so quilting takes a bit of a back seat!