Thursday, February 28, 2008

SuperBowl Bargello Top finished

Finally finished the top for my Super Bowl Bargello. The pattern is from Bonnie Hunt and is available on her site. The idea was to piece this baby during all the SuperBowl 'stuff'. I started pulling fabric Friday before the big game. The strange part is I didn't even go downstairs to my stash. I had happened to have all but 2 of these fabrics sitting upstairs waiting to be brought down. I had hosted BINGO for an online group and these were FQ's that had been sent as hostess gifts from various players. I had a bit of trouble laying them out, but Mark, my dear dear husband, has a good eye for patterns and helped me. The original pattern had single rows of all colors (since it was meant to be a very scrappy quilt) but it pleased my eye more to make a few of them doubles. I cut for 8 panels wide, but somehow miscalculated and it would have been too short. I used most of the leftovers for the Braided Border, pattern for which is also on Bonnie Hunt's site. The few strips that were extra are going into a Log Cabin Star - waste not, want not.

This was my first Bargello and they really are interesting to put together. You join the strips first, then make tubes and 'un-sew' the tubes in varying orders. I have a kit for a Heart Bargello which I am now not afraid to cut into, since I understand the theory behind it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another UFO Bites the Dust

Frannie's quilt

This quilt was a JoAnn's Block of The Month. As usual, I didn't buy it until the year was over and got the blocks half price. For some reason It didn't draw me all year, but as soon as it went halfsies, it spoke to me. It was my first attempt at machine applique on a medallion. I think it came out pretty good, though there are a few things I'll do differently next time. Ann Fry machine quilted this item for me


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day for the Weird

OK... so call me weird.. I, of course love my husband and daughter.. but few things in life bring me the joy that my pets do! They don't care if I want to stay in fagged out sweats and a stained shirt all day.They never answer back, they don't do shit just to piss me off, they love me for who I am, as long as I feed and water them. Small price for so much love. And don't tell me you don't pay for love - we all do, just very few of us admit or recognize it! SO here they are, the sun spots of my day!
TeeJay Dakhatt

TJ found us at restaurant in IL. He refused to leave Robin's side. Fate dictated that I had a box in the car that day, just perfect to scoop up a little kitty who weighed 4 pounds and had no idea of where he lived. He's Mark's cat, there's no disputing that.

Edith Ann Diogi

Edie, the most neurotic dog that God ever put on earth. But I forgive her her neurosis, she had a rough start. First "mom" dies suddenly of treatment for a very aggressive breast cancer when Edie was 4. Her second "mom" already had many dogs and earmarked Edie for me. I couldn't get her right away because Mark had blown the mitral valve in his heart and was in serious condition for a long time. As soon as he recovered enough for me to leave him home alone, I traveled to WI and got Edie. Oddly enough, Mom #2 passed away two months after me picking up Edie. She is devoted to me, I do not leave her sight. Best dog I've ever had - bar none

Melanzanna DeChitti

In Italian, melanzanna means eggplant. Mooli is as dark as an eggplant and has as few variations in color as one. She's quirky. We adopted her so that TJ would have company. She wants noone to touch her or even look at her. The only time she comes around is for food or water. But she won't place her face in the bowl, she must pick up the food or water and scoop it to her mouth. Oh.. and she gives me a 'backrub'. She will get on my back if I'm laying down and knead her way up and down my back. This can go on for a half hour - as long as I don't talk to her or touch her. Told you she was quirky

After looking at these, I realize I need a new camera - and a whole LOT of camera skills. Sorry for the blurry photos.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Heart Month... and all that crap

Yesterday Mark had a Cardiac Catheterization. They found a major blockage in the anterior main artery and placed a stent. To my mind, this was the best possible outcome. After failing a stress test, there was some question that perhaps the results had been a false positive. Yesterdays procedure revealed this blockage and hope was given that the stent will improve things. "Things" being little events like breathing and having enough energy to walk from the kitchen to the bedroom. Someday, when I can face it, I'll retrace the steps that got us to here, but for now, there's happiness in Central Ohio - at least on my part.

Two borders are on the Super Bowl Bargello quilt top, two need to be lengthened. Pictures soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday's Musings

Wow February 11th already! Time is flying and who knows why? When I was a young girl, weeks seemed to go on forever and Sundays were the worst. They seemed to have lasted a month in and of themselves. Yesterday I looked at the clock, expecting it to be 1 or 1:30 Imagine my surprise when it was 5 PM!

I have been sewing, I guess that's the big time suck. Got the Bordello top finished, all the borders pieced and trimmed and ready to start attaching. Too bad I have to work until 1 today. Sure, I could come home and sew, but that's my nap non-productive time. Who am I kidding? I love, LOVE LOVE WANTOMARRY naps! And anyone who knows me, knows that!

So enough time here for now, I better go get ready to get people their refunds on taxes. Not sure why, but I feel badly when I tell them they owe. It hurts my heart. Not sure what I would ever do if I had to write a check to Uncle Sam in April

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Jacob's Strings

This quilt is named Jacob's Strings. It is a pattern from Quilter's Cache and can be found here . I worked on this at the Quilts On Review Retreat held in 2006 in Great Falls, Montana. It used up a lot of my bright scraps. Speaking of scraps - what do they do when the lights are turned off? Seems I keep using them and using them, and yet they never go away. Must be some form of regenesis going on! The quilt is kind of wavy here in the picture, but that's only because it is impossible to lay a quilt on the floor for a photo shoot and not have one of the three animals who own us live here scamper over or under them. That's Edith Ann Diogi, the resident Australian Shepherd, in the upper left hand corner of the photo. Progress has been made on The Super Bowl Bargello. The top is pieced now and I'll be working on a narrow inner border and a braided outer border this weekend. No work for me today - yay!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pinwheel Flurry

The quilt pictured below was started in 2005. The pattern came from the April 2005 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.It was my first attempt at applique and I used my Janome 6500 which has a beautiful blanket stitch. I am still using up the scraps from all the 1930's fabrics I collected over the past few years. I'm not even sure I like 1930's repros - sometimes they look childish to me. But seeing the finished product sells me on them a bit more. Since I'm in a scrap reduction phase of life, I'll just keep on using what I have and try not to expand that stash.

Not much progress on that Superbowl Bargello. I had to work yesterday and let me tell you - they got their money's worth out of me. I work for a tax prep company and right now it's peak season. People want their refunds, they want them NOW and I can't blame them. Oh well, a few more weeks of this and my time will be my own. My house will be happy, my husband will be happy and I'll be happy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday's Musings

I watched 'football stuff' ALL day yesterday, from noon until the last two minutes of the game. I fell asleep. So mad at myself for doing that, but it's pretty much the story of my life. I can't stay up late. I wake up way too early. Ah well, that's what they make DVR's for, right?

My intention was to make the Bargello quilt from Bonnie Hunter's website. I got it started, but nowhere near the point that I can even envision the whole thing. Good news is that Mark helped me arrange colors. He has such a good eye for that!

The ribs were awesome and I would heartily recommend using your slow cooker to make ribs. First I rubbed in some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then baked them at 400 for 15 minutes on one side, turned them and baked another 15 minutes. Drained the fat and placed them in the slow cooker and poured nearly a whole bottle of Open Pit over them. Cooked them on high for 40 minutes and on low for 5 1/2 hours. They were awesome. The only problem was that they did not hold together as ribs, as the bones slipped right out. I personally enjoyed them that way, though I'm not sure I'd want to serve them to company. Kind of messy, but mmmmm delicious

I made some kick ass salsa which we were too full to eat. It will be even better today so I'm not worried about that. The recipe I use is mostly canned stuff, but let me tell you, it's the best salsa I've ever eaten and I've been making it for years. I don't "do" nasty evil dirt tasting vile green stuff umm cilantro so I divide the recipe before adding that.

Here's the recipe for the salsa:

3 28-oz cans stewed diced tomatoes
3-9 cloves garlic, skinned
2 4-oz cans diced green chiles
3-9 pickled jalapenos
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
¼ C. tomato juice (from the tomatoes)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Note: You either love garlic or hate it. If you love it use all 9 cloves. If you love HOT, then use all 9 jalapenos.

Put a colander in the sink. Drop the tomatoes in it. You'll probably want to do one can at a time. Let as much juice drain as possible. From one of the cans of tomatoes, reserve the ¼ c. juice. Put the chopped tomatoes in a large mixing bowl and add the chiles, chopped onion and chopped cilantro. Stir it up. In a blender, combine the reserved tomato juice, garlic, jalapenos, and salt. Blend until smooth. Add to the stuff in the bowl. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you're like me you'll sample before doing this. You are forgiven. The flavor definitely improves overnight. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

So here it is again, another Super Bowl Sunday. It used to be more
fun when we lived in the Midwest - central time zone. Living in the Eastern time zone now, the game just comes on too darned

Today I'm making crockpot ribs. I've never done them this way
and in fact, havent made ribs at home in almost 8 years. Mark just doesn't have the stamina to go to eat much anymore, so we thought we'd give this a shot. I'll share the recipe if they come out
as I think they will. Superbowl dinner has always been home made pizza and Nancy-burger day, (I'll have to share that recipe soon), but Robin is on call today and it's too much work for one person.

I'm doing something fun and quilty today too! I'm going to start my first Bargello quilt. I'll be following directions from over on Bonnie Hunter's site. I'll let you know how that turns out too, hopefully with pictures to share.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Welcome To My Garden

Anyone who knows me, knows that gardening just isn't "my thing". I mean, I love to look at flowers that other have tended and grown, but the thought of digging around in all that dirt just doesn't 'do it' for me. AND there might be bugs, which makes the whole thing even worse.

But this quilt, is special to me. I started it in 2001 and just completed it this past week - label and all. I remember when I started it. We had just moved to Grove City Ohio after an entire lifetime in the Chicago near west and south suburbs. My Mother moved with us. Alzheimers struck her with a hammer about 2 days after we moved in. She had had just a few symptoms, forgetting a few things here and there,but I guess the stress of the move did her in.

I would sew downstairs and she would come down there with me, working her 'puzzle books'. We had figured if she had little word puzzles to work on, we could save what was left of her mind. She was always working them, pen in hand, looking SO busy. And I would piece blocks, running away from the stress when I could.

Shortly after placing her in a nursing home, I happened to peek into her puzzle books. GIBBERISH! I guess she coldn't remember what to do, just that she should be doing something.

Rosie, we loved you so much! I hope you were able to see that through your fog.