Sunday, September 28, 2008

A recipe to share

It was another rainy day here in the Northeast. Some members of the Posse went to a local quilt show but I did not tag along as I needed to get a few things done around the house. The morning was quite productive -- food shopping, some housecleaning and a bit of laundry. The afternoon was devoted to quilting :) However, it was not so productive as my machine was not very cooperative. I was attempting to free motion a Project Linus quilt but the stitch regulator on my Bernina did not want to work today -- I kept getting long, jerky stitches. I tried changing the needle and even the thread but with no luck. I think it is time to go to the shop for a cleaning . . .

For dinner I decided to try a recipe given to me by a friend. It was well-received by the members of my family. They all said they would eat it if I made it again. Over the years I have learned to ask not only if they like the dish but whether they would eat it if I made it again.

Tangy Pork Chop Stuffing Bake

6 bone-in pork chops
1 pkg (6 oz) of Stove Top stuffing for pork
1 can (16 oz) of whole cranberry sauce
3/4 cup of Kraft Original BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare stuffing as directed on box. Brown chops for 5 minutes on each side. Place chops in 9x13 baking pan. Mix cranberry sauce, BBQ sauce and brown sugar together. Gently mix in stuffing. Spoon over chops. Bake for 30 minutes or until chops are done.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Jersey Girl . . .

It's been a busy week for me -- on Wednesday I had to fly in and out of Chicago in the same day. I was on the 6:00 a.m. flight out of Newark which meant a 4:00 a.m. limo pickup!!!! I was schedule to fly back on the 6:20 p.m. flight out of O'Hare. Unfortunately, we were delayed two hours due to severe storms which made an already long day even longer --- the return limo dropped me off at 12:37 a.m. the next day! One of the highlights of my trip was driving on a portion of historic Route 66. The other comical event was having to fill the rental car with gas before returning it to Enterprise. You have to understand that I have never pumped gas. In NJ, it is illegal for anyone except the gas attendant to pump gas. It's not that I haven't even driven in states that have self-service stations. It's just DH has always been there to fill the tank. Thankfully there are instructions and pictures to help dummies like me figure out how to pump gas! Guess I truly am a Jersey Girl . . .

Before heading out to Chicago, I took a tote bag class with Megan on Tuesday night. What I was thinking sitting in quilt class rather then being at home sleeping is beyond me. It was a great class and I managed to finish my tote on Thursday night (after taking a nap in the afternoon). Besides, in the words of my co-worker who attended the class with me "sleep is overrated". I promise to post a picture as soon as I take one!

Today, the ladies gathered at the firehouse for our sewing day. We had a good group -- many of the usual participants and some new faces. I had not been to a gathering in several months so it was good to see everyone and to see what projects they have been working on the past few months. I am still working on my 30's Irish Chain quilt (see previous post for pictures). I am determined to finish that quilt by the end of the decade :)

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I hope you find some time to quilt!

Update to this post: The NFL officially confirmed that "The Boss" will play during the Super Bowl halftime show on February 1, 2009. It is great to be a Jersey Girl!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Unfinished Projects

I have decided the problem with old UFO's is that by the time you get back to them --- if you ever get back to them -- is the fabrics are no longer available. This isn't an issue if you purchased enough fabric for potential errors. The combination of an inexperienced quilter and wrong cutting directions can be hazardous to your quilt project. This quilt is probably my oldest UFO -- I can't remember exactly when I started this quilt. But last weekend I pulled it out of the pile and decided to put the blocks into rows. I love the look of blocks set on point but am not so good at putting together quilts with blocks set on point. Even after years of quilting I still shy away from on-point quilt patterns. What I was thinking as a new quilter several years ago when I started this project is beyond me. Obviously I wasn't thinking about the difficulty level!

The pattern calls for two borders -- one is made of small snowball blocks and the other is just a regular border. The fabric used for the corners of the snowball blocks had been cut by me at an earlier date. All I had left to do was cut the squares and piece the blocks -- simple enough. Not exactly, the instructions said to cut 4 1/2" squares for the inside of the snowball block and to cut 3 3/4" squares in half diagonally for the corners of the blocks. I had previously cut the 3 3/4" squares when this was a new and exciting project. Unfortunately I was a new quilter and had no idea that if you cut 3 3/4" squares in half diagonally there is no way they are going to fit on the sides of a 4 1/2" square. Since I don't have enough of the red fabric left to re-cut the 3 3/4" squares to the correct size, I have decided to put a three inch border around the quilt so that the pinwheel blocks "float" in the quilt. I will then add the 6 1/2" red border.

So does anyone need 64 red 3 3/4" squares cut in half diagonally?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aunt Millie's Garden

This afternoon a few of us are gathering at Megan's to work on our Aunt Millie's blocks based on the Piece o' Cake pattern, Aunt Millie's Garden. Cousin Caryn is joining us too -- she is working on the Stars in the Garden blocks which was a BOM at our LQS. Actually this quilt shop isn't exactly local since it is about an hour's drive from my house. I also joined this BOM but haven't started any of the blocks. Thus it is not an UFO and I clearly start Aunt Millie's Garden instead.

I decided to use brights for the flowers, leaves and stems. However, I have yet to decide on the background fabrics. Initially I thought I would use a black and white dot. I then thought about a white on white print. However I never got to the LQS to look for backgrounds -- so I am thinking the Kona White or the Kona Snow that is sitting in my stash may work just fine for today's gathering and with a little luck I will get to a quilt shop soon.

Here is a sampling of my fabrics -- hmmm maybe a few yellows should be added to the bunch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Summer Handwork

I thought I would share with you my summer handwork projects which are still works in progress. The Halloween Redwork pattern has 9 designs. I had originally intended to stitch all 9 designs and create a Halloween quilt. I have been rethinking that decision recently -- mainly because there are other handwork projects I want to do. My latest thinking is that I will stitch up four of these blocks and make a wallhanging. Since I have already traced 6 designs onto fabric, I think I will make either pillows or small wall quilt with the remaining designs.

I don't know which Halloween they will actually be completed, but the good thing about holidays is that they come around every year so eventually they will decorate my house.

A little work, a little play

Hurricane Hanna came to visit the Northeast on Saturday bringing the opportunity to spend the day quilting or cleaning the house. As a child we were not allowed to play with our friends until all of our chores were done on Saturday. Although I moved out of my childhood home over 20 years ago, those values my parents instilled are still with me. On Saturday morning, my sewing machine was calling my name but so was the dust covering my coffee table. My mother's voice was in my head "you can't play with your friends until your chores are done". So I compromised -- I spent the morning cleaning the house and then spent the afternoon sewing. I also finished up some work that needed to be completed for the committee I am chairing in our local guild. Once those were behind me, I picked up this UFO from last fall.

There is a story behind this little tote involving myself and the posse. Caryn found the fabrics at the LQS near her work. During one of the Saturday Sew Days at the firehouse last year, the four of us started this little tote. Due to the misreading of the instructions regarding the use of a strip for the bottom of the purse, the striped fabric was cut incorrectly. So three of the totes have the strip horizontal on the bag. Mine is vertical because I happen to find the same fabric online while looking for other striped fabrics for another project. I have had this fabric for months and kept looking at the bag thinking "I should finish this little tote -- but Fall is several months away so no need to finish it now." Since Fall is almost upon us I thought it was the perfect project for this past weekend. I like this tote very much and already have fabric to make it in another colorway or two.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Unofficial End of Summer . . . .

Fairport Harbor, Ohio

Labor Day has come and gone along with our annual trek west to visit my cousin in Northeast Ohio. We have been getting together with my cousin and his wife on Labor Day weekend for well over 10 years. It has been so long that none of us could remember how or exactly when we started. Not that it matters since we always have a great time when we are together. This year the new addition to my cousins' finished basement was the Nintendo Wii. After dinner each night we would begin our bowling tournament which usually lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. Amazingly we got better as the night wore on -- wonder if it had anything to do with the consumption of alcohol?

The local schools started again this week bringing increased traffic to the roads in our town and the highways I travel to work each day. It took me over 10 minutes to get to the gym this morning -- a trip that was taking less than 5 minutes just last week.

The end of summer brings the start of football season. Football is my favorite sport. On Sunday afternoons you will find me in front of the TV with some sort of needlework in hand. My favorite team is the Miami Dolphins who I have followed since I was in grammar school in the early '70s. While I enjoy watching the pros and even some college ball, I have to admit what I miss the most is watching my youngest DS play. He started at the flag football level and continued through his high school years. From August to November our lives and schedules revolved around his practices and games.

Although I am sad to see the summer end (actually the Jersey shore is wonderful in September but don't tell anyone), I am looking forward to sewing and maybe actually finishing one or two of the projects I started earlier this year -- like the CW Diary blocks. The ladies will be gathering at the firehouse later this month and so far two of my local quilting buddies have said they would like to come sew with us.

Maybe the fall isn't so bad after all . . .