Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello, October

We seem to have different ideas about how to
bring in the wonderful month of October.
Chloe would like to sleep on a quilt.
I would just like to finish a quilt.
One is going to have to happen 
before the other, Chloe!  
(quickly snapped cell pics while in the middle of quilting)

Happy wonderful October, everyone.

The windows are thrown open and I have my coffee.
And I have no where to be until it's time to pick up
my son from school.
My high-schooler has football practice right after
school so that simplifies things greatly.
(private schools--no bus)

I will happily be finishing "Fall Graces" today.
I settled on this name because I pieced it last year
when we were graced with one more fall, 
and Christmas, with my mom before things got worse.
So, yes, I will complete this before the shop hop...
but, sadly, not "Let It Snow."

When I ran out of batting
and the store was out of batting
(apparently everyone is quilting)
I took it as a sign that I just needed to slow it down
a little.  Schedules and deadlines are all well and good...
until they make you rush through something that 
should be fun and enjoyable.

I like little "memos" from God like that.
I hope we can all hear a little helpful memo
today that might be just what we're needing. 

Still shooting for getting the backing for 
Let It Snow made up.  Hopefully I have
some binding fabric to work on as well.  
If not...well, shop hop, here I come!
For now, back to Fall Graces...

(Ugh.  I turn my back and Chloe is on it again!)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Basting Day

Today was basting day for this one.

So far I've been referring to it as "Fall Frenzy" 
because it really was kind of a mad frenzy the way
I put it together...but I'm also thinking of calling it
"All Around the Pumpkin Patch" because in each 
star's center is the same pumpkin fabric.

I love pumpkins!

I guess I'll figure it out later...

Even with a busy schedule, I did manage to get
it basted today--doing my best to get 
TWO quilt completions in one week!

These little guys really save me some time.
I'm kind of old-school in that I've always 
hand-basted every quilt but lately, I've 
been doing a combination thing.

I use the pins where I know I won't be quilting--
in this case, just outside each of the blocks. 
This left me with only the very outside of the quilt
and the centers of each block to baste by hand.

Well, a very full day has me falling asleep at the
computer so off I go to dream of how to quilt this one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This Would Do So Much For My Scrap Basket!

(Bear with me here as I attempt to post from my iPad for the first time.
Not to be archaic.  It's just that this speed typist gets frustrated typing that slowly so
I have just avoided posting from it altogether...but this is like a Special Announcement  
Or something.)

Fons and Porter just posted this on Facebook.
And then left us hanging!  
Hello?!  Directions?  
It took about 5 minutes of staring at it but somehow I
went from "eh" to "hmm" to "Oh!" to "Holy Shop Hop!  I think I'm going to attempt it!"

Hopefully they'll send out more info soon so I can properly attribute this.
I pretty much just lifted the photo from FB.  

They have since added this info:  Courthouse Stars

First Finish of the Fall

Clouds, thunder, sprinkles and cool breezes have
been nudging me to the sewing machine.
The Starbucks Live channel is going on Pandora
and I'm enjoying a latte.  
We could really use a big rain.
We'd have a colorful fall instead of a dead one.
And I can do my fall window cleaning.  
(There's no point when it's dry and dusty out--I wait till the rain settles
things down and, hopefully, the wind switches to the north most of the time.

The squirrels are burying
all of our pecans (grrr) and walnuts about the yard
and in my gardens...because I enjoy pulling saplings
out all spring and summer, of course. (grrr)

So, hey, enough growling about squirrels!  
I finished a quilt!
(much more entertaining)

Here it is, in all its glory.  Literally.
All about 'merica here.

Simple quilting.  Honestly, it's not the best
quilting but, as usual, when you see the big
picture, it's fine.  Besides, what guy is going 
to ever notice.
(Quilting larger quilts aren't my fav.)

He's real "in" to the America thing so I 
went with eagles on the back.  

I tried to get a great pic outside yesterday
but it was too windy.  Today, everything outside
is wet with the light rain.  I gave up trying to be 
oh-so-careful to not get it dirty, brought it inside
and tossed it on the couch.

I went for the thrown-over-a-chair look
but it's 81"X81" and just too big.
A good "mellowing" in the wash would
help that, too.

Looks like fun over here, huh?
Quilts everywhere!  I'm a quilt squirrel!
(who's had too much coffee??)
I am looking forward to quilting this one next.
I put the border on it yesterday--and I meant for a 
4" border.  So what did I cut?  4" strips.
Sigh.  It's now a 3.5" border. 
I'm just excited that I finished something.

It's a little smaller so I should be able to do a 
better job with the quilting.  

9 days till the shop hop.
One quilt down, 2 to go.

Today I'm having a second electrician over to give
us a bid on his part of our kitchen make-over.
I got quoted $1,200 for the LED strip lighting
for under the upper cabinets from the last guy.
That's a bit of an investment and it sounds like there
are all kinds of options there so I'm hoping this next one 
shed some light on it all for me.
(Sorry about that...I really wasn't trying to be all pun-y and stuff.)

Linking up

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Talk Caramel

When it comes to fall, 
what else is right up there with pumpkins? 

Caramel.  And apples. 

Let us first clarify something, 
something most people get wrong.  
That that includes 99% of baristas, btw--they really
ought to know better...and they should probably not 
attempt to "correct" those who pronounce it correctly. 

Caramel, pronounced CARE-UH-MEL,
refers to the candy.
Carmel (car-mel) is a place.
To ask for carmel apples or a salted carmel mocha
really does not make any sense.
Please feel free to pass this info on so that,
together, we can enlighten all this fall.
Grammer Nazi has spoken.

Making your own caramel sauce not only gives you a
superior flavor but it also allows you to cut out
the nasty corn syrup and preservatives you're 
probably going to get when you buy it.

I just made this recipe from Cake Duchess this morning
but there are a lot of recipes out there.  
This seems to have a little more butter than I'd like
so I may tweak it next time...or I may try yet another
as I have a little "try new recipe" fetish.
And I added vanilla.  I like it with vanilla.
Yet, this one makes just the right amount--  
fits perfectly in this large jelly jar that I store it in.  

Because I can't say no, I happen to have a large
collection of Knotts jelly jars in all sizes.
You know I make all my own jelly so they aren't 
because I hold a membership to some monthly club!
(Have you noticed that this happens when you're crafty? 
 People give you things so that they might avoid the guilt of tossing 
perfectly good things--they know you'll find a good use for them.  
It's a bit of a curse, really...)
It took me a couple years but I've lately been finding
some great uses for them.  This size seems to be
perfect for sauces.  I have one that I refill 
for my daughter and her house-mates.
I have smaller ones that I use for my dried herbs.
(This isn't one of those "curse" times.)

Making caramel is a quick, simple process but you 
do need to keep a few things in mind:

1)  Too dark = too burnt.
Basically, you're burning sugar anyway but you can
take it too far.  Just about every recipe includes
pictures but it's all about experience.
I threw away a batch or two myself when I first 
started making it.  Fortunately, it's not expensive.

2)  It really is a quick recipe.
As in, you need to have everything ready
and handy before you even turn on the stove.

3)  Be prepared to never buy it again.
You'll be spoiled.  
Welcome to Food Snobbery.

Taking this down to my football-watching crew
right now.  I love buffalo wings as much as the next
football fan but hey, this is almost as good and much
healthier.  We'll eat wings later...

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