Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Things

I recently rearranged my studio and moved my work table to Dave's TV room for him to use as a drawing table. My plan was to use my big 3x5' table on bed risers for my work surface, and then move it to my machine for quilting. To make the Formica table into a pressing surface, I ordered a rug pad cut to fit. It's 3/8" thick and cost $29, free shipping. It is ugly but I knew that going in. I pillow-cased  it with canvas on one side and heavy white cotton on the other and added ties to the corners to keep it from slipping all over the place. And left one side open for easy removal for washing. Safety pins keep that end closed. The neat part is that it is easy to remove when I want to quilt and need a slippery surface.
 And after all these years, it finally dawned on me to hang my rulers right next to my table, so they are easy to find, use and don't get chipped falling off the table. Duh! Command hooks of course.

 What is really making me happy is this new waste can for the kitchen. We had a can under the sink, but the bag insert kept getting askew and constantly making it difficult to use, etc. Little annoyances. This will stay out, and has a feature that holds the bag in place under the lid, which opens with a pedal at the base. Genius! I knew you would love seeing my trash inside. ha!

It was the last one at the store, so they must be popular.

Update on the church banners....I think we have narrowed it down to two panels, for Advent, that are symmetrical and matching colors. OK!
And then another exciting bit. The Newton Child Development Center  here in Chattanooga needs 50 blankets for little kids under five. O PTL. This is just the project for the church sewing room to tackle. I'm thinking 36x54" and QAYG. I will make the prototype and enlist our sewing enthusiasts to play along. I'm excited. Lots of fabric has appeared in our sewing room and more keeps on coming. Wonders never cease.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Church Banners

Gulp! I've been asked by our pastor's wife to make some banners for our sanctuary wall, right in front of the whole congregation! She and I are both new members (including the pastor) and who knows what she might have in mind, or what I might be getting myself into. Still, I am game and have gone up to the attic to bring out some previous work, as a starting point. She mentioned something yellow and blue to go with the yellow walls and blue rose window. Hmmm. I have YELLOW. This is an unquilted top which is at least 12 years old. 53x75" I am now confident enough to quilt it. Can you see this as "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God"? Or something else? It might be too too for the sanctuary, or not. 
This is pretty obvious, so it might work
and is quilted and all ready to hang.
This one is sold, but I could remake it larger and with more blue and yellow. 
Lollapalooza Log Cabin #2

 But what about this piece? "Lo, I am with you always?"
Of course there is no text on the piece, and I wonder if the idea comes across. It is also ready to hang, thus eliminating the fear of commissions, which I still have.
And then there is this piece which I made in 2006 and never quilted. Can this be its time? What scripture does it bring to mind, if any? It has lots of blue... Fishers of men?

unquilted top. Cruciform #4

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It's Autumn!

 It's time for knits, and even down here in the warm South, it is nippy in the morning. 58 degrees at the moment. So let's start thinking of cute ways to keep toasty. This little cardi vest is made from non-itchy-scratchy wools, and it is sized for a woman with an actual figure (not like my mannequin, who is a stick!). 48" at the bust and 50" at the hip. Those are the measurements of the vest, so you must be less or it would be skin tight.

But wait, there's more, as they say on TV. I had enough yarn to make a coordinating scarf! 

 And I added a knitted ring to hold the ties and avoid a big knot.

I am offering these pieces as a set, for $100 plus shipping. Sold

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Better Lighting, Better Photos

Here are two fotos of the same quilt. The first was taken in my studio (with a single centered LED fixture) and the second was taken at the church in our new sewing room with florescent lights directly over the design wall . The lighting is sooooooo much better there, and I can really tell the difference. The second photo shows the quilting detail so clearly and the color is better too, no tweaking required! I brought two more quilts to shoot too, and they are below with the previous pix first.

To me the difference is HUGE, with the first one kinda blurry and the second one so much more sharp. The color is all off on the first one too, and just right on the second.  I am from now on going to take my photos at church instead of at home.

 Here again, the clarity is much better in the second picture and details are visible even with close-ups.

Just for fun, here are some detail shots, no tweaking required.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bosna #9

 Bosna #9. Hand dyed and commercial cotton, machine pieced and machine quilted. 62x64".
I've been working on this baby for over a week and finished it today with a faced edge, hand sewn down! hahaha, something I rarely do. Luckily I discovered that audiobooks are free on Youtube, which of course helped keep me on task as I quilted daily.
My husband declared this one to be unisex, which means that even a man would like it, I guess.
My sister Brooke saw it before the quilting and said, "I suppose this is all about your quilting?" which is half true. I think it is about the impact of color, with a tiny bit about the quilting. And of course SIMPLICITY.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Seven Dollar Bread

3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fast acting yeast
1 teaspoon salt
big glob of honey or corn syrup (optional)
12 ounces water.
Mix in an 8 cup Pyrex bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight. No kneading required.

Other ingredients that I am currently adding:
sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, oatmeal, raisins sometimes, and of course sesame seeds both white and now black! I'd add almonds if I had some, too.

The next morning while the coffee is brewing and the dawgs are eating their breakfast, I dump out the very wet dough onto the floured countertop and adding more flour, I arrange it into a loaf, pop it into a buttered pan and allow to rest for an hour or so. I take the pups to the doggie park  for our walkies and when I return, preheat the oven to 425F and brush the loaf with water, or half and half or if I'm enthusiastic, beaten egg, slash the surface and top with sesame seeds. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Done-a-roo.

Doncha just hate posts where they have a great thing you want to make and you have to wade through ads, photos, chatty stuff, and finally get to the recipe, only to find it has ingredients like buttermilk or tofu which you don't have in your pantry?

Here's the story:
Dave eats toast  and sandwiches day and night and I got pretty tired of running back and forth to the store to get more bread. And the bread I got was dull white bread. We have an artisan bakery just down the street and I did buy a great loaf there, for $7!!! and decided right then to make my own. Truth to tell, mine is better, because it is not day old which is what the $7 costs if you wait a day. Ha!

Homemade bread is a slippery slope and one can start resembling a loaf if one is not careful. So something had to go. In my case it was wine...or booze altogether. I figure I'd trade the calories for a slice of warm buttery goodness, and then walk extra fast at the doggie park.

The offshoot is that I can now remember what I read last night in bed. And no more four hour naps after a wine-y lunch. Amazing.  I still crave wine, especially while I cook, but it eventually goes away.

Leftover bread makes a great strata, another overnight sensation.
4 eggs
8 ounces milk, or half and half or evaporated milk,
bread chunks.
Mix together and soak overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning stir in cheeses, veggies like sauteed spinach, leftover chopped broccoli or asparagus, green peppers, or cooked sausage or ham. Bake in a buttered dish while bread is baking and top with crispy bacon. Serve to your sister when she miraculously shows up. Yum!