Sunday, June 20, 2010

A very productive weekend.

It's been a productive three day weekend for me. I took a mental health day on Friday and spent a lovely day with my friends Pattie, Michele and my wonderful cousin Ashley. We met up at Acorn Quilts for their big sale on Friday morning. We got Ashley some great Deer Valley fabrics to make a wall hanging for her entry way. This will be her first ever quilt! It will be fun to teach her the art that I absolutely love. I'm hoping she'll love it too. She has a baby quilt she wants to make for a friend as well, so maybe we'll do that one first. Speaking of that, Ashley - I found this in my stash. It's purple and green, and the line is called "Pampered Pooch" from Moda. Part of the proceeds from the line go to the ASPCA. Let me know what you think of it for the baby quilt..
After the store, we ate lunch at my absolute favorite restaurant in Rockford, Mary's Market. I tell you, if I were to buy a franchise, it would be this place. I don't think they franchise though, I think it's a family owned thing. Seriously, if you are anywhere near Rockford, IL, go eat at a Mary's Market. You won't regret it!
Then Ashley and I found the strangest looking dog wandering down the street. He had the head of a normal dog, but the body of a Basset Hound/Dachshund mix. Very strange looking, but very sweet. Unfortunately we found his trashy, super drunk owner. The dog didn't look abused or anything, but this guy gave us both the creeps and neither of us wanted to turn the dog back over to him. Yuck, ick and ewwww about sums up this guy.
Then I as I was heading home, a massive storm hit. Luckily I knew where I was, and that the Machine Shed restaurant was one stop light away. It was perfect because they have a large drive through overhang in front of the building and the wind was coming from the direction of the restaurant building, so I was perfectly shielded. It was one wicked storm. I took the back roads home and there were branches down everywhere.
When I got home I was relieved to see that the power was on, so that was a bonus. I got right to sewing. First was a bag comissioned for a little girl's birthday party. They are doing a horse themed party and taking the girls for pony rides. I made her this:

Can you believe that fabric? It's perfect!  I was shocked that I was able to find such fantatic horse fabric that wasn't either western or cartoony. And if you look really closely on the counter of the first photo, you'll see my brand-spanking new EQ7 upgrade!!!! The hubby got it for my birthday. After about 6 emails and 4 reminders, he finally ordered it. (EQ is quilt designing software that's absolutely fabulous for those non-quilter's out there).
I also made many more table runners for Emily's wedding:

I know this one looks just like the one above, but it's the reverse of it, see - the branches are in the middle of the mosaic on this one!
So what is that, 9 more done? Thank goodness the Harry Potter books on tape are long. I'm on the Deathly Hallows now, so I can just listen for hours and hours while sewing.
Speaking of Harry Potter, I just have to share more pictures of the Rose That Lived. It was literally glowing this morning!
And for Father's Day, I made my dad and brother-in-law individual strawberry-rhubarb pies. It's my dad's favorite and they had fresh strawberries and rhubarb at the farmer's market that Karen I went to yesterday morning. Since I did a standard pie for my dad's birthday at the beginning of the month, I thought I'd mix it up a bit. I'm rather pleased with how they came out.
As I was sliding them onto the preheated pan, I dropped 2 of them. Magic happened to be right under the one that dropped directly into one of the dog dishes and had it down his gullet before I could yell "no!" to him. The hubby told him he was a bad dog to not listen when I said 'no', but really, he had swallowed it before I could even yell, so technically, he didn't disobey.
Didn't they turn out pretty?
I packaged them in left over Martha Stewart boxes from Christmas:

We all went to the Kane County Cougars minor league baseball game today. We were really lucky, the weather totally held up. I like the minor league games, they take half the time of the Major league games and are more entertaining. I tried to teach the nephew how to do the YMCA dance, but at 10 months old, he didn't really get the arm movements down. He did dance to the music though.

Well, it's almost 8pm here, and I'm off to watch Masterpiece Mystery on my local PBS station. I hope it's Miss Marple or Pirout tonight!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Three Down, Ten to go!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about making table runners for my friend Emily's wedding. She wanted to help, so she's been over the last couple of nights helping to design and iron. She doesn't sew, so that part is up to me. She seemed interested in learning the rotary cutter, so she may be upgraded to cutting soon.

Emily chose the turquoise and oranges from the gorgeous Lantern Bloom line that I made my boss's birthday quilt with. I started out making Pleasant Home's Pinwheel Runner, but Emily wanted something that showcased the fabric more, so we went with larger blocks and rectangles and the such. We designed 3 different styles. There will be 8 of style number 1, and 4 each of the other two.
We finished piecing these two last night:

Please forgive the terrible photos, my editing software isn't doing what it should tonight.

And because we need to eat, and both Emily and I love to cook, we made a fabulous pesto (with basil from the garden) pasta with grilled shrimp and a salad with roasted red and yellow peppers, pine nuts and lettuce, also from my garden. Not to be overly humble, but holy cow are we good cooks. It was it gooooodddd! I had some left overs for lunch today and had to use much self retraint to not eat it all and save some for dinner.
The recipe we loosely used was this:
Skewer shrimp, brush w/olive oil, sprinkly w/salt and pepper. Grill until done. About 3-4 mins each side.
Brush peppers w/EVOO,  grill about 6 mins each side. Cut up when cooled, toss w/lettuce & pinenuts.
Make pasta per directions on box.

2 Cups Basil (I used 3 different kinds, Italian, Pesto and Spicy Globe)
7 tbs EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
3 med garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan (we kind of just threw a few hunks into the food processor)
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
Zest from 1 med lemon
1 tsp salt

Put all ingredients into food processor and blend the beejeezes out of it, until it's all blended and, well, looks like pesto should look.
 Add more EVOO if needed.

Toss pesto into pasta, place shrimp on top and Bon Appetit!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One more shop

Oooo! I totally forgot that I had this post started, so it's old, but still inspirational.
I don't have many photos of Fat Quarter Quilting in Coon Rapids, but I just had to share the display they had right inside the entrance. (The hubby totally giggled uncontrollably when I told him we were in Coon Rapids).
So Cute!
The sign under the deer head frame is embroidered with "No Hunting".
They didn't have a pattern for the rug. One of the owners just 'drew it out' I was told. Bummer for those (ie: me) who can't draw!
It was a really nice store, and they are just settling in at a brand new location.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catching up

It's been awhile, so here's some of what I've been up to in pictures:
I picked my first Snow and Sugar Snap peas!!!
The 'Rose that Lived' lives on one more year!
We had a most excellent fog, which always makes me preten that I'm in Scotland.

My pretty perenials are blooming. I wish they'd bloom all summer.
I started, ripped out, rethought, sought advice on then redid a Christmas wallhanging. It's the "Plaid About You" pattern by Tammy Tadd Designs made with Fruitcake fabric by BasicGrey for Moda.
The blue is more like in the first photo, but the corners are totally different now. I'll update on that soon. I'm currently listening to 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince'  and quilting the crap out of this with metallic thread. 
I have also have started:
15 table runners to make by July 10th for my friend Emily's wedding.
A baby quilt to finish by the end of July
2 'You Go Girl' bags
A horse book bag
Oh and I finished a red/white/blue Pam's Charming Bag that I will take photos of asap.
I'm off to quilt now!