Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Somethings Fishy

I went to the grocery this morning and since cod was on special, I bought cod. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the package and saw these pieces.

All I could think of was HST's. I must be spending way too much time quilting. And by the way, when did fish start growing in triangles?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Say Cheese!

I spent my weekend learning to make cheese. Or at least making a big mess in my kitchen and pretending to make cheese. Since I had never done this before, I really had no clue what I was doing and I didn't find the instructions real helpful. My first batch I turned into cottage cheese, except it is tasteless and not at all creamy. So my second batch I did more experimenting and finally got some curds to press.

I turned the curds into cheesecloth in this little basket.

Then I put a wooden disk on top and then a little Tupperware bowl upside down on top of that.

Then I added a board and on top of that two bricks in a yellow plastic bag and then a set of ankle weights on top of that. Strictly low tech all the way.

I bought a cheesemaking kit and decided I wasn't going to spend anymore money until I knew I could make something that tasted like cheese. I really wanted to make cheddar which is our favorite, so that's what I did. Only now it has to age for 6 months. So I won;t really know if this was worthwhile until then. Hmmmm! What's wrong with this picture? Besides a misshapen piece of cheese.
Since Wisconsin is cheeseland, I have to wonder what I was thinking when I started this little project. I think I better stick to quilting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Fiber Friends

My stitching group met last night at my house. We try to meet monthly, but sometimes life gets in the way. We each work on our own projects and mostly eat and gab. I finished the binding on a little quilt. Three were knitting, one was doing needle punch and the last person never got around to working, just talking. Most of us worked together, or at least worked for the same company a number of years ago, so that and the love of handwork ties us together. We are called Fiber Friends. How perfect.

Last night, Joyce brought this quilt that she and several others made for a Boy Scout fundraiser. It was designed on EQ by a shop owner. Three people did the piecing and the shop owner did the quilting on her long arm. There are pre-printed panels in the corners showing Scouts doing scout type things. The fabric is from a line of Scout prints. Really well done.

Barb E. brought this lovely needle punch snowman that she framed herself. When we went to the International Quilt Show in Chicago a couple of years ago, Barb found a vendor doing a closeout of needle punch kits. She bought about 8 and she hasn't stopped punching since. She is really fast and loves to do them. She is a new quilter, but has already finished 3 BOM's that are constructed like a pro.
My little quilt is for a Jo Morton club that is meeting tonite. It was fun to make. Can't wait to see which fabrics other chose for this little project.

On the menu was Taco Soup and Strawberry Shortcake.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I ♥ Hearts

I love hearts. They are such an easy design to work with. Here is the quilt I have hanging for Feb. It is one of my first attempts at applique by hand. I can still see the pencil marks where I marked the heart designs onto muslin. I also drew the size of the square onto the muslin so I would know where to sew the squares together. That was before I understood the concept of a 1/4" seam or how to create a guide on my machine or before I had a 1/4" foot. In other words, I was really a rookie quilter.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Most Amazing Margaritas

6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 c. Triple Sec
1/2 c. tequila
lots and lots of ice

Place all of the above in a blender and whirl away. Use the limeade right out of the freezer or slightly thawed.

Salt or no salt? That is the question.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Me

LuAnn nominated me for the Stylish Blogger Award a few weeks ago. As a recipient, I need to tell 8 things about myself that others may not know. It has taken me this long to come up with something worthwhile to tell, as I am not very interesting. But, as I remember from a really great TV show that was on a few years ago -- Everyone has a story. You just have to dig deep enough to find it.

So here goes:

1. I love okra. It is my all time favorite vegetable. I esp. love it fried, but any other way of cooking it works, too. The bad news is that it doesn't grow well in our cold climate. The good news is that our local groceries started carrying it in the frozen food dept. about 10 years ago. Yea!!

2. I am an archivist at my church. I am mostly the copy and file clerk, but I love learning all about the history of the church and many of the people who have gone before and made our church the neat place that it is. FYI, our church is the oldest protestant congregation in the state of Wisconsin. How cool is that!

3. I am a fainter. I must be like one of those fainting goats. My worst experience was fainting in a mall while Christmas shopping. Everyone panicked and the paramedics were called. I was hauled off to the nearest hospital and had to have a couple of stitches in the back of my head. My funniest experience was fainting in bed. One minute I was alert and talking, the next I was out like a light.

4. I make great margaritas. My sister-in-law gave me her most awesome recipe and everyone loves it.

5. I go to the Y everyday at 8 am. I used to only go to there to walk in the winter, but after having knee surgery 2 1/2 years ago, now I go everyday like clockwork. It helps keep my knee and all the rest of me limber. Plus I talk to just about everybody there and it helps pass the time.

6. If I had a superpower it would be to understand every language. That way I could eavesdrop on conversations and be an invaluable resource in solving world problems and ordering food in foreign restaurants. I just tried to learn a little Mandarin on the MangoLanguage website. After the first lesson, all I could remember is how to say hi - which is "hey" by the way. I definitely need that superpower boost.

7. I love detective and mystery shows on TV. My latest favorite is The Closer and I like Monk
and all of the Law and Order Series.

8. I know how toilet paper is made. That is what I did in my work life before I retired to stay home with my kids. This is a wonderful conversation starter as we used to get some incredible consumer comments!

TaDa! This is the real me. Hope you enjoyed getting to know all my deepest darkest inner secrets.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sock Monkey Fun

I saw this recipe for placemats at the Moda Bake Shop during the Christmas season. You can follow this link to see the pattern: Personalized Placemats. I was glad to find the sock monkey charm squares last week so I could use them for my little great niece and nephew. It is always fun to sew for kids.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Quilt Shop

Last week I visited a new quilt store (new to me) about 30 miles from here. It is called Keep Me In Stitches. It was stocked with batiks and lots of novelty prints. The colors were so bright and it had a really upbeat feel to it. One of the women working there I had met about a year ago at a quilt show.

I found some cute charm squares with sock monkeys and bananas. Plus some beautiful navy batiks. They had a great quilt on display using the navy batiks with solid white in a churn dash pattern. It was so pretty. I can see making that.
As I was checking out, the store owner told me that another new quilt store called Going to Pieces had just opened a few block away. She gave me directions and even drew me a map. How nice is that?! Unfortunately I did not have the time to go then, but that just means another trip. Both are close to Primitive Gatherings - another of my favorite stores.