Saturday, March 31, 2012

What is 25 times 56?

1400! That's how many 2-1/2" squares I cut to make this granny square quilt! Now I am sashing these blocks and will get them sewn together next week. This one is for a birthday in October, so I am way ahead of the game.
I have been playing with the layout in Picassa and so far this will be the one I am using. Please, if anyone sees something that looks wonky, tell me. There is one block in the bunch that bugs me, but I am leaving it. How does this layout look to you?

and if you are looking for the giveaway, you can find it here.

I got the numbered comments straightened out but now I am having a few layout problems. Sorry for the messed up sidebar...it's a work in progress.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Friday, March 30, 2012

Summerlove Giveaway

This Giveaway is now closed
thanks for playing!
Today is my 502 post ( I had 2 posts yesterday!) and I am having a giveaway!
That's right, the lovely and ever generous Julie, of The Intrepid Thread,
has offered to sponsor a giveaway as a congratulations for my many ramblings.
This is not just any giveaway, but a FQ bundle of the beautiful new fabric by Pat Bravo.
May I present to you Blue Crush Summerlove Fat Quarter bundle.

I know you want to win this beauty so I will give you three chances to win 
and I will choose a winner on 
Tuesday, April 3,  at 9 am Pacific Daylight Savings Time,
 after I have registered for The Sewing Summit.
To enter to win you can...leave a separate comment:
1. Tell me your best memory of your favorite summer...
2. Become or tell me you are a follower of my blog.
3. Hop over to Julie's shop and tell me your favorite FQ bundle.

winner will be chosen by random number generator
for some reason all the comments have the number 1 next to them but I will get this figured out before the winner is chosen!
I will read all the comments but will not be answering any because of the huge response to this giveaway!
Good Luck

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Baby

Katy I'm a Ginger Monkey and Brenda Pink Castle fabrics have teamed up to have a little contest to see who can make the best 12 fabric FQ bundle. Now I don't claim that mine is the best, but it is the best I can do before the deadline of March 31. I'm calling this bundle, Sweet Baby, because these fabrics would make a sweet baby quilt.
The winner gets their FQ bundle. That's a good challenge, right?



1. Fly A Kite Ice Cream in Teal by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs
2. Fly A Kite Dot in Brown by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs
3. Metro Living Circles in Fuchsia Pink by Robert Kaufman
4. Ta Dot in Ocean Aqua by Michael Miller Polka Dot
5. Punctuation Tutor Stripe in Orange Punctuation by American Jane
6. Animal School Bus in Pink Kokka Japan Cotton/Linen Blend
7. Essex Linen Ivory Linen/Cotton Blend
8. Hello Pilgrim Pearl Bracelet in Green Lizzy House
9. Haybale in Yellow - Farm Fresh by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs
10. Aviary 2 Woodgrain in Vintage Yellow by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabric Faux Bois
11. Gingham in Orange Oops A Daisy by Keiki for Moda
12. Fly A Kite Strawberry Stripe in Pink by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs

            
Don't forget if you order anything from pink castle on etsy use KATY15 as a code on check out to get 15% off your order.            

            


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Bloom


This is my 500th post. I wish I had a sponsor so I could give something away to celebrate.
I have finished my Stitch Tease row. It is now ready for it's trip around the world and I will see it again next year. The first destination will be to Annabella, in Morocco. I am asking for my bee mates to pick a word and then build a strip made of blocks that represent that word. The girls might be surprised to see my word, because I originally told them it was going to be "Garden", but decided on "Bloom, because these blocks were more about flowers. When I think of a garden, I think of fruits and vegetables.
I've already showed you this block...

and this one, too.
I added this block in the center

then made these two appliqued flower blocks
After making the two paper pieced blocks I needed something a little simpler for the rest of the strip..



I always love it when you all use your darling, little children as models in your quilt photos. Mine used to be cute when they were small. This was taken in 1985. Aren't they adorable?
So, I couldn't resist having Evan and Kyle model my Stitch Tease strip when they were here for dinner yesterday. They had no problem hamming it up for the camera.

They are still pretty darn cute!

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Improv

No, I haven't tried doing an improv quilt again. I really am a staunch rules girl when it comes to quilting, well sort of anyway. But when it comes to baking I am definitely an improv baker. 
Take, for instance, this recipe I saw on Sweetapolita's blog. Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting, what in this recipe's title doesn't scream "make me right now"? 
Last week, our son, Evan (the chef), said that he was craving a mommy made-it meal. He asked, "Can me and Lauren come over for dinner next Wednesday and will you make Swedish Meatballs, mashed potatoes and cream corn?" "Well of course, said mommy,  and I will bake a cake, too."
So today is Wednesday, I am making his favorite meal and I made this cake for dessert. Kyle found out I was making dinner, so he asked if he could come, too.
I pulled up the recipe on my laptop and started gathering the ingredients. Buttermilk, oh shoot, I don't have buttermilk. No problem, just add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to some milk and instant buttermilk. Cake flour, huh? I didn't have any. I always use The Barefoot Contessa's substitute for cake flour...for every 2.5 cups of cake flour called for in a recipe, replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.  Ok, so now the cake is baked and it's time to make the frosting...
6 ounces of unsweetened, good quality baking chocolate. No problem, I always have that on hand, except today! So I found some chocolate that our son, Kyle, brought me from Brazil, it was really dark and dry so I figured it was not too sweet, then I had about 2 ounces of Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate and for the rest I used some Trader Joe's "Dark Chocolate". Just to make sure it wasn't too sweet I threw in 1/4 cup of my favorite super dark cocoa powder, Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark. The cool thing about this recipe, and something that I have never done, is make it in the food processor. I always make frosting in the Kitchen Aid Mixer, but for this recipe you literally put everything in the food processor, pulse it a few times to blend the ingredients and then put it on high and mix until fluffy. My kind of recipe!

The frosting is super rich and chocolatey and was easy to spread.


And, Mr. R and I had to cut a piece after I finished making it, of course, just to finish the photo shoot. 


Oh, and that unsweetened baking chocolate...yep, I found it, after I had finished the cake and the clean up.  Now I better get to making those meatballs for tonight's dinner.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I made this card today

Picture In Landscape 5x7 folded card
Find unique birthday cards and birthday invitations at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Can you Hear My Echo?

Made in Cherry...Made in Cherry...Made in Cherry...Made in Cherry...
I am shouting from the rooftops, "I love this quilt"! I love the design. It is so simple but yet makes a huge statement.


I love the fabrics. The Echo Lotta Jansdotter fabrics were amazing to work with. These fabrics have such a beautiful feel to them.


 I really think my friend is going to be so surprised when she receives this as her 60th birthday gift. And...I finished it with 3 weeks to spare!


I am so in love with the quilting I did on this quilt. You need to understand, for 9 years I have been paying a long arm quilter to do all sorts of beautiful FMQ on my quilts and it took me this long to gain the courage to do straight lines and I am so, so happy with the finished product. I have not dared to try anything fancy, but these straight lines just make this design pop. 


You can see the backing showing through with the sun streaming from the back.


I found this great duvet cover at IKEA and knew the second I saw it that it would be perfect for the back of Renata's quilt. And because it was a duvet cover, there is still quite a bit of fabric leftover. I love it because the entire back is one piece of fabric. I even used the coordinating pillowcase for the binding.


This is how it might look if Renata wanted to cuddle with the quilt in her favorite chair.


 Another look at all those straight lines, right angles and perfectly (don't look too close) spaced lines of quilting.


This is my artsy shot, showing the back folded over the front.


Quilt stats:
Pattern: Made in Cherry designed by Sarah Fielke
Fabric: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter in warm tones with solids combined by Julie of the Intrepid Thread
Moira in Pumpkin
Ranka in Espresso and Pumpkin
Florine in Espresso
Mini Florine in Espresso
Ruta in Espresso
Aneta in Dogwood
Mini Florinein Goldenrod
Florine in Goldenrod
Free Spirit Designer Solid in Saffron
Free Spirit Designer Solid in Dogwood
Warm and White Cotton batting
Measurments: 79"x79"
Began February 8, 2012/Finished March 25, 2012
Made for Renata Werlin's birthday, April 15, 2012


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

The Grannies are Multiplying

I finished 12 more granny squares bringing my grand total to 42. I only have 14 more to make and then I can start sashing these together. I guess I better order some grey sashing fabric since that is the overall favorite. I have had so much fun scanning these into my computer and playing with the layout. You can really get a good feel for how the finished quilt will look.
I am getting a bit bored with making the squares. I think it is because I am so close to being finished with them, I am ready for the next step. But, no two squares are alike, so that is really fun.


Now I need to get up to the sewing room and get working on my Stitch Tease strip...I have a deadline to make and as the bee mama, I need to set a good example.
Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This Week in 2012, Week 12

Did you notice I am now a dot com? That's right, I forked up the $10 to buy my own domain name. I really don't know what this means except when I become famous, stop laughing, I will own my own website.

We took my mom to lunch today. It was nice for Mr. R to get to see her. With her busy schedule at Senior Living and our schedule of work, grandkid's games and my sewing obsession, it has been too long since the three of us were together. Mom brought us up to date on all her activities and the fun going on at her residence.

We got home just in time before the rain came down in buckets. I wish it would have rained more, but I am not complaining. I changed into my sweats, comfy sweater and I was ready for a day of relaxing. I managed to take a few photos of the + and x blocks before the light was just too dark.
I haven't posted about the + and x blocks for quite some time. In January, I was the queen bee in my New Bee on the Block bee. I sent out lots of fabric and asked for + and x blocks. So far I have received 28 block from my bee mates and I still have 2 more members who, hopefully, are just a bit late. The New Bee blocks are on the right side of the photo.
I also received my swap blocks from the Japanese + and x blocks swap. I made 15 blocks so that means I received 15 blocks. They are the first three columns on the left of the photo.

With 43 blocks already made I am more than half-way to my goal of 80 blocks to make the quilt I want to make. This is just a mock up from a photo taken with the blocks on my design wall.

I won a random drawing on Katy's blog this week.  It is for her wonderful templates for her amazing Spring Carnival Template Set.  She also said she wanted to send me something special and she would check out my flickr photos to see what I like. I told her I would post several photos of a Mediterranean cruise, so she could include tickets for that with my templates. needless to say, Katy thought I was a little off my rocker on that request. 

I ordered over 9 yards of fabrics with my Fat Quarter Shop Gift Certificate that I won last month on Jennifer's blog. Kimberly has the best service. I think I ordered on Monday and received them on Thursday!
Kona Cotton Ash
Sketch White and Black Screen Texture
Pimatex Basics Black Dotted Lines
Going Coastal Multi Bottle Caps
Sassy Cream and Coral Daisies Yardage
Sassy Aqua Daisies Yardage 
Weekend Clubhouse 2012 Linen Random Pencil Check
Cape Ann Cotton Atlantic Blue Starburst Mums
Going Coastal Navy Sea Kelp
These were all just fabrics that I liked and have no plans for any of them at the moment.

Lot's more happened this past week and I will take the time tell you about them in more detail as the next week progresses. Right now I need to finish sewing the binding on my Made in Cherry quilt. I am really tired from my quick trip to Morocco...

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grapefruit Pound Cake

Most of you know that my second love is gardening, after sewing, so I often post gardening tips and recipes here on the blog. We have a small "orchard", (we like to call it that because it sounds like we know what we are doing) with two Satsuma tangerine trees, a meyer lemon, fig, olive, dumpling peach, lime and grapefruit tree. This is a story about the grapefruit tree.
About 20+ years ago, our then 8 year old son wanted to plant a tree for Arbor Day with his dad. So Kyle and Mr. Romance decided that we needed a grapefruit tree. This thing grew so slowly and would produce the odd few grapefruits every few years.  The fruit was so sour it was deemed inedible by the family. I have wanted to dig the thing up and plant a more productive tree for years. This last year, Mr. Romance decided to give it some of his super duper fertilizer and lo and behold we have about 40-50 grapefruits this year! They are a tiny bit sour but still edible a make delicious juice.


So I scoured Pinterest and found this recipe for Grapefruit Pound Cake.
I won't reprint it because I can't figure out Pinterest's new terms yet, but I can tell you it is really good.

I juiced more grapefruits than were needed because I wanted to drink some of the juice. Refreshing!
It's a super easy recipe and the zest makes it taste so fresh and yummy. 
 My Mixmaster in action.
 This is to show Katy I'm a Ginger Monkey that we do have brown eggs in the US.

Only the best ingredients for my cake.


It bakes over an hour, slow and steady to produce a dense pound cake texture. 

Two Tablespoons of juice reserved for the glaze, then I drank the rest.
 More powdered sugar, juice and zest and the glaze is the "icing on the cake" for sure.
Ta, Dah! Done, and so, so yummy.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"