Friday, August 20, 2010

Hexie Time

I been away from my blog for a few days. Daughter 2 (Elizabeth) came home from college Monday (YAY!!!) for a couple of weeks before she leaves for a study abroad program in Italy. We've been busy running errands, getting her ready to go. These photos are of her hexie quilt in-progress. She started stitching the hexie units together last night.
They are so beautiful - fabric selections wonderful - color is fabulous. This makes me happy.
The basement bathroom is still a work in-progress, too. There was a bit of a delay because the shower tile didn't come in on time. But the work will all be finished early next week - can't wait! Then the real mess will begin when they work on the two main level bathrooms. I'm not looking forward to all that dust and noise! But it will be worth it in the end, I know.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shirts and Ties

I spent the entire day in my studio yesterday! It's about time!It was SO good to get some quality sewing time in. I finished the blocks for this t-shirt quilt I'm making for a good friend of the family as a gift.
The fabric around the blocks remind me of a men's tie. (The recipient is a young man.)
For the sashing, I'll be using men's shirting. I cut these strips from thrift store shirts.
As I sew a piece of shirt to a block, I'm trimming the excess as I go...
and sewing them together end to end. This will be my border.

Today should be a bit quieter around here - hopefully no jack hammers or flying tiles or dust. I believe the plan for today is to lay new tile on the floor.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quilt Bee Recipes: Pimento Cheese with Toasted Pecans and Creamy Lime Squares

When I hosted my quilt bee last week, I had recipe requests for the pimento cheese and the lime squares. I thought you might enjoy them, too.

Pimento Cheese (from Southern Living):

1 1/2 cup high quality mayonnaise (such as Duke's or Hellman's)
1 4-oz. jar diced pimento
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely grated onion
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8-oz. block extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 8-oz. block sharp cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients.

Toast pecans at 350 on a cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Shred the cheese. (The actual recipe says to finely shred the extra-sharp cheese and coarsely shred the sharp cheese. I didn't do this - I shredded it all the same way in my food processor.)

Add the pecans and shredded cheeses to the mayo mixture.

Creamy Lime Squares (from Pillsbury)

2cups all-purpose flour
1/2cup powdered sugar
1cup cold butter or margarine
3/4cup frozen (thawed) limeade concentrate (from 12-oz can)
2containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Thick & Creamy Key lime pie yogurt
1box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 1/2teaspoons grated lime peel
1container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1to 4 drops green food color
Extra whipped topping, if desired
Lime slices, if desired
Fresh mint leaves, if desired

1.Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan, press mixture evenly. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 40 minutes.
2.In large bowl, mix limeade and yogurt with wire whisk until blended. Beat in pudding mix until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken. Stir lime peel into yogurt mixture. Gently stir in whipped topping and food color until desired green color.
3.Pour yogurt mixture over cooled crust; spread evenly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
4.For squares, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve each square topped with extra whipped topping, lime slice and mint leaf.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Different Kind of Patchwork

I spent the day yesterday with a kitchen and bath designer, picking out tile for our bathrooms. If you ever need new inspiration for a quilt, visit a tile showroom. I've haven't shopped for tile in about 25 years. The choices were amazing!!!
I adored this little "penny rounds."
These colors came alive.
And made my heart sing!
In the end, I wasn't brave enough (and my pockets weren't deep enough!), so I went with something like this. I figure I can't go wrong with neutrals. Maybe I'll hang a colorful quilt in each bathroom?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Demolition Begins

Here's the before of the downstairs bathroom. I know what you're thinking - not so bad. But really, it's pretty bad! If you could zoom in, you'd see cracked tiles, a very gross shower, and mold and mildew everywhere. All the bathrooms in our house are 40+ years old. The cabinets are old, the tile is old, the fixtures are old, etc. And the wallpaper - I'm so over it!
Here's how it looks now. I'm told the demo will be finished tomorrow. It's a dusty mess in our entire basement level, but it will be worth it!
I got the latest issue of Quiltmania last week. I've been drooling over this quilt! Oh how I love it.
I love these intricately pieced circles! I'm going to put this on my To Do list. But I MUST finish some UFO's first. I promise!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Built a Closet!

And I didn't use two by fours or sheetrock. Not even a hammer! I do love my studio - it's the finished attic of our home. BUT...I'm always whining because it has no closet to hide all my quilty goodies. Everything crafty that I own is exposed, so the room ALWAYS looks cluttered.

Hubby has offered to have a closet built at one end, but it has always seemed like an unnecessary expense. I mean, I 'd rather spend the money on fabric, or something important like that!

I had a light bulb moment earlier this week. If I could rearrange a bit, I could place two large industrial shelving units a few feet away from the back wall. Then I could place my fabric drawer units again the other side of the shelves.

Above you can see inside the "closet." I need to organize it, but I love the way all this storage is hidden.
Here is the other side of the "closet," with my fabric bins pushed up against the shelves. The backside of the shelving units are draped with fabric shower curtains, creating a faux wall to hide the shelves.

Why has it taken me SO LONG to come up with this arrangement?!! I have a degree in Industrial Engineering- we're supposed to be efficiency experts, space planning experts! I guess since I spend so much time in the room, I'm too close to the situation. I think being away from my studio for a couple of weeks while we worked on the rest of the house must have given me new insight. Maybe taking a break once in a while is a good thing.
Once my "closet" was built, I sat down to sew, at long last. Since our quilting bee is tomorrow (at my house), I caught up on the bee challenge - the calculator tape project. I completed a strip for Jan, who requested greens with a touch of brown, and a strip for Norma Gene, who requested pinks.

I've also been cooking a bit - tomorrow's bee menu is finger sandwiches (homemade pimento cheese with toasted pecans, egg salad, and cucumber/cream cheese). Plus we'll have a fresh fruit salad and lowfat chips. To finish it off, I made Creamy Lime Squares. It's too hot around here to have hot food. We've had several days in a row of 100 degree temperature. The heat index has been around 108!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back in the Studio!

Yes, I finally made it upstairs to my studio; but I haven't been sewing. Not just yet...

I've been stapling and drilling. We've been doing so much work around our house, and I decided the studio deserved a bit of sprucing up as well. I've been tired of my messy ironing area. Plus I need more storage!

So I copied an idea from my friend, Lisa. I bought a fold up table from Target, removed the top, stapled on a couple of layers of batting and a piece of Roc Lon. Then I screwed the top back onto the legs.
Above is the BEFORE.
And here's the AFTER. I set the new ironing table on bed risers to make it the correct height. Tucked underneath are three storage units, again from Target. Nine more drawers to put stuff! And they're not in the way at all. I'm a happy camper.

Now I'm sitting here...
and I'm getting ready to list the old dining room chairs on Craigslist.
In this photo you can see the new color of the dining room (we repainted it yesterday). Yes, we love this color. We finally got it right.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Time to Quilt

It's been a whirlwind week around here! Every morning, I get up saying I will spend at least an hour in my studio, but it has not happened. We ordered new family room furniture recently. The old stuff was worn and ready to find a new home. A needy family was very happy indeed to receive it. After they picked it up, I cleaned and polished the hardwood floors in this room and the kitchen. The new stuff (pictured above) was delivered Friday.

Our other furniture has played the game of fruit basket turnover. One bed was taken down and moved to the attic. Another bed was set up in its place. The kitchen table was moved to the dining room, where I'm almost finished refinishing it. (Applying third coat of stain today.) The dining room table is now living in the kitchen, sans its three leaves. The grandfather clock went from the living room to the end of a long hallway. If you give a moose a muffin......

Yesterday hubby and I painted the dining room a shade of blue - I'm ready for some color around here! Then we stood back and gasped! We absolutely HATED the color. After a nice dinner out last night, we bought another gallon of paint in a (hopefully) better blue hue. Guess what we'll be doing today?

The end of all this is near, though. I'm hosting my quilt bee here Thursday, so I have a deadline to get things under control. AND THEN...I will sew!!!!