Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dresdens and Bananas

Yesterday I fooled around with the Dresden placement. I tried it this way and that. Remember that all this was all to be done with jelly rolls and layer cakes cuts. Placement 1. I didn't like this as much. So after moving the squares around, and forgetting to take a picture, I ended up with .....
Placement 3. This I liked better, but there is still something missing. I love almost all the fabrics, there are 2 I don't care for with the rest. So I think I will stop by the fabric store today and see what I can find. My thought is to see if I can find a dark piece that will be my centers and maybe a sashing between the light and dark fabrics. We will see if I can find anything that has this soft faded look. In reality the colors blend together, in the pictures the colors look fabulous.
Last night I stitched down almost all the plates. Today while I run my Mother on her errands, I will sewn down the last one. While I was sewing, I took a break to make the house smell good.
What do you get from all these ingredients?
Some of the best banana bread ever. Can't you just smell it? Nice soft middle and crisp crust. I'm a crust girl, I don't care what kind of bread it is, I always eat the crust first and sometimes only. This is a recipe I got off the box of brown sugar years ago. I've always used it and have always been happy with the results.

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of soft butter
2 eggs
3 to 4 very ripe bananas, the riper the better
2 cups flour
3 ts. baking powder
1/2 salt
1/2 chopped walnuts
Mix together, pour it pan, bake at 350 for about 60 minute or until toothpick comes out clean.

So find some ugly old bananas and have a go, you won't be disappointed.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Dresdens

I have been slowly working on my Dresdens. A little bit each day. A couple of arches each day. I still haven't decided on a layout. If I have enough time today I will try some and take pictures. They have been so much fun to make that I want to finish it all in one day. But then I get a backache, nothing else gets done and PugsLee gets needy. So I will keep on with a little each day.
Have I been working on anything else? Not really, just a few stitches in the red work.

Don't these look fun? If you're looking for a new project, might I suggest Dresden's?

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cheese Ball

I have to tell you that the best thing I ate at Christmas was my cheese ball. I have never made a cheese ball before and was surprised at how easy it was. The recipe I had was...
1 8oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup Mayo
3/4 cup shredded cheese
2 ts Worcestershire sauce
1/2 chopped pecans, toasted

I add some garlic and bacon to give it some umpf

2 heads roasted garlic, just squeezed them into the mix
1/2 finely diced cooked bacon

Mix all together and shape into a ball, roll in pecans, chill for 2 hours.
If you don't mind garlic breathe, WOW, it was good.

Do you all remember the flannel I was working on?
These are 2 of the bed sized quilts I got out of the pile of flannel. Son and Daughter wrapped in them on Christmas day. I believe PugsLee is under there also.
These all started, because my Daughter didn't want me to throw out her favorite purple flannel sheets. She didn't care if the fitted sheet was torn from end to end. So I added more flannel and ended up with 3 large blankets. A simple quilting, initials sewn on, done. Very easy, and I think they like the result.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, December 28, 2009

Have you all recovered from Christmas? How many of you already took your tree down? I'm too tired to take down all the decoration. Maybe this weekend.
I have a couple of pics of some of those secret things I was working on this last month.
I had seen crayon aprons somewhere and thought they were cute, but too hard for the children to put on themselves. So I made bigger aprons that were both boy and girl friendly.
These are my little twin cousins. Aren't they cute! He couldn't wait to color. We had to force him to take a picture. She told me she got everything she wanted for Christmas, and that she wanted to go home with me. They made my heart melt.
The littlest one here, is a artist and she liked everything but the peach crayon. She says it's too dark. Well compared to her skin tone, it is very dark.
They all seemed happy and of course that made me happy.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas

You'll never guess what I did yesterday. Christmas came 2 days early for me. Yup, I received Donna's ruler, and had to cut up some fabric. I was cleaning house, but when the creative juices have been held back, well I've been very inpatient. I was so excited, I was like a kid at Christmas. So I put down the vacuum and dirty clothes and cut into my fabric.
Just a practice look. After I make them all I will see how I want to place them.
I was having so much fun that I made 2, and played around with placement. This random act of kindness was very kind indeed and I plan on keeping the ball rolling.
PugsLee and I would like to wish you all a very Wonderful Holiday. I won't be back for a couple of days, as I plan on spending time with my family. My daughter is coming to send the night tonight and I'm really looking forward to this. She only lives 30 minutes away, but I don't see her everyday anymore. Nobody tells the Mother how hard it is to let her children grow up and move away.
Wishing all you dreams come true, Brandie

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And the last of the UFO's

This is it, the last of the UFO's. Aren't you as glad as I am that the list has stopped? This is a list that seems achievable. I had added another William Morris block, before I lost the fabric to another stash buster. Like that was going to happen. I did change some of the pattern pieces, they were quite small and not easy to work with.
And don't forgot the Dresden plates. I will be able to make them with ease with Donna's gift. This is what I really want to start with. But we will see.
Yesterday I had a little visitor. She and I had a fun day.
We read books. Played with blocks. Chased and kissed PugLee.
We ate mac and cheese and lots of green beans.
Even PugsLee wanted in on the fun. The little Cutie was so sweet and good. And she ended the day by falling asleep in my arms. Boy, I sure miss those days. So Thanks Mom for letting her visit. Someday when I have grand kids, they will be so spoiled.
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cookie exchange

I decided to make gingerbread cookies, with a twist. Thick gingerbread dough. Just before rolling in powered sugar.
Little balls of goodness.

Second batch of ginger balls.
I didn't want them too puffy, so I smashed them a little.
Dozens and dozens, done.

The twist. Cream filled. Yummy!
All packed and ready to go. We had 11 people in our cookie exchange. But only 6 of us were there. Oh well, that just means less cookies to eat and make me fatter. So it is a good thing there was only 6 of us.....Except I made about 20 dozen cookies.

All of our cookies together.

This is my Rami Kim UFO. She came to our guild this year and the project was a purse. I thought the purse was too big, but loved the fabric folding techniques. So I think I will make these into pillows. This should be easy, maybe I'll start with these.
Please don't look too close at this. I was trying to use up stash fabric for a baby quilt. After it was done, I thought it was hideous. I too embarrassed to give this to anyone I know, so this is also a community quilt. Well now that I told you, everyone will know this ugly quilt came from me. I don't know if I can deal with the shame. I produced something ugly. That's hard to take. HAHA

Have a great Tuesday, Brandie

Monday, December 21, 2009

...Even More

I hope you all had a nice weekend. What did you do? Christmas shopping? House cleaning? Gift wrapping?
Me? Well I did a cookie exchange, but you all will have to wait till tomorrow for that story. So on with the UFO's.......
These have been hiding away for many years. 9 years ago I was making these blocks for a quilt for my Daughter. They are big purple pansies. I don't even know if she would like them anymore. I was such a newbie, when I started these. You can see the stitches, and there are little openings. By my standard today, they are terrible and I won't use them. But with some experience under my belt, I think I can fix them without much effort, and see them off to a new home.
This was another class of Goldie's. She saw me down at Honey Run and told me she had just the class for me. She was right, earlier I had seen this pattern and wanted to make it. So I singed up for the class, and didn't finish my project. I was, am, having problems with the points matching up and thought I would add some applique over those points. That was easy, the hard part is trying to make it look right. So I un-sewed and there it sits. Suggestions?
Take care and we will talk tomorrow, Brandie

Saturday, December 19, 2009

......and More

This basket is still producing UFO's. The longer it takes to show them to you here, the more I doubt I can finish them in a year.
This is one of my favorites. It is an antique linen on a silk backing. I had started to quilt this one. In fact I had a huge medallion in the middle. Well after it was done I hated it. So I bought a blade that looks like a scalpel and carefully removed all the quilting. It you click on the picture, you can see more detail. I really think that this is the quilt I will start with, after finishing up a community service quilt.

This is a community service quilt. I picked up the packet a couple of years ago and never started the quilt. But I did cut the fabric and pick out a pattern. Shame on me, I need to finish this up and give it back to our community service lady, Sydney. She must have one of the most satisfing jobs in the guild. She gets to give our castoff quilts to many different organizations. From the elderly to children. She sometimes receives letters from these people and they are always shocked that someone would put the time into a quilt, then give it away.
So these community quilts are more important and I shouldn't reward myself till I have finished one. Now that I have said it, that makes it so.
Have a Wonderful weekend, Brandie

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Spirit

I spent most of yesterday curled in a ball on the couch. I've taken a little longer today to start moving. But I have to tell you, there are so wonderful people out there. Yesterday I was an emotional basket case. PugsLee made me cry, by getting wrapped around a tree. I'm a little fragile today but my spirit is lifting. I had an email from an unknown person, who read someone else's blog, where I mentioned that I needed help with my Dresden plates. I had asked Lurline for the dimensions of her ruler, so that I didn't have to buy one. Donna, who I don't even now if she is a Blogger, wants to send me a Dresden ruler, to lift her Christmas spirit. Now wonderful is that? She is a Christmas angel. Donna, if you are reading this, please let me know if you have a blog. Yesterday I told you about Dorothy. This is the quilt that I received after her funeral. She had just finished it before she became so sick she couldn't leave her bed. Her Granddaughter (my Best-Friend) Kimmie, gave it to me. I was so shocked, as they had keep it a secret, and moved by her gift of love. I still get weepy eyed by looking at this quit. Dorothy gave me a wonderful gift and I feel that I can't repay her. I've tried, I've taught Kimmie all that her Grandmother taught me and I will continue to teach anyone else who is interested. This is the only way I know to keep Dorothy's gift alive.
Of course this quilt will be hand quilted, that is the way Dorothy would have done it and I must honor that. This will be a family heirloom and it has a wonderful story to go with it.
A couple of winters ago I started this one. The only thing holding me back, is a name of the village. There is a church, school, library and post office and I want a name for the village. So until I can find a name that means something to my family, I have this rolled up in the UFO basket.
Wishing you all Christmas Spirit, Brandie

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekend Cooking, and UFO's

This weekend, my friend Nichole came over to cook. She thinks I'm a good cook and could teach her how. I like to cook, I don't know if that makes me a good cook. But I do enjoy it and that helps. It has taken me this long to post the pics, cause I forgot to take pics of the finished dish.
I showed her how to make a fillet pork loin, stuffed with fruit. We reconstituted dried fruit with apple juice and chicken both.
Juicy dried fruit.
Then rolled the loins and tied them.
After roasting. Isn't is beautiful? And it tastes great too.
What started this whole business, was she said she had a bag of sweet potatoes and she wanted to know what to do with them. My inner thought was "YUCK, throw them away!" But I did some research and thought we could make a nice crusty bread with some.
Nichole's brother-in-law had made a sweet potato souffle for Thanksgiving and she wanted to make that. Again I thought"YUCK" but agreed to help her.
First step was to boil the potatoes until soft. Next beat them with butter, milk, eggs and sugar. (not sounding to bad right?)
Put whipped potatoes in a baking dish. Top with a mixture of chopped pecans, baking spices, brown sugar, flour and butter.
Here is where the pictures change.
When we ate that souffle on Sunday (like a big girl I tried it and boy was I surprised). I liked it so much, that I made it again for my small group meeting last night. The only deference being that I put the souffle in small ramekins. Great stuff! And I learned that I do like sweet potatoes.
This is a story of a failed cooking attempt.
I decided to make that same small group guinea pigs last night with a new recipe. This was a British recipe I found online. I had to guess on a couple of things. Like the baking temp and the crust. Well something was not right.
You take a ripe pear and hollow out the seeds with a melon baller. Fine. You add pured dried fruit. Fine. Wrap in a pasty shell.
They look fine here. Sprinkled with sugar and ready for the oven. I thought I had mastered it.
This is what they looked like when I opened the oven. FAIL!
How embarrassing. They looked terrible, but when I returned home last night, my Husband had eaten 2. He said they were wonderful. Well I rely on looks to convey my foods good taste and there was no way I was going to present these to my small group.
In other news, we have more UFO's. This was my first attempt at free motion. I was jerky and not having fun, so it was packed away. This would be good to finish and give to my Guild as a community quilt.
Cousin Nikki found this and gave it to me to do something with. Well I started to add those purple squares to it and then got side tracked and there it sat. Someday I'll finish it and give it back to Cousin Nikki.
Have a productive day, Brandie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And More....

If you look closely, you can see one of today's quilts peeking through.
I should give you a brief history of my quilting. I remember always sewing, that doesn't mean I was good, but I tried and I liked it. I started with a Holly Hobbie machine in the 70's. In the 80's I used my Grandmother's treadle, till she bought me my own used Singer. Happy days, when it worked. It had something wrong with the bobbin case and would catch the thread and break it or make knots. This still didn't detour me. In the last 90's, I asked my Best-Friend's grandmother to teach me to make a quilt. Dorothy had several beautiful hand quilted quilts. So in 1999, I made my first quilt. I pieced it by machine and Dorothy and I hand quilted it. So I knew some basics but not a lot. Dorothy later passed away in 2001, so I was solo. So I made up a lot of my own rules and some I still do and some have been replaced by a better way.

In 2002 I started to make this Wedding Ring. I copied the templates from a book and started cutting out pieces. This was before I knew how to paper piece. Not all the rings fit together right and so I had to fuss with them all. I ran out of patience and packed it all away. I look at it now and think, maybe I could do better, at least I'm going to give it another try before throwing it away. I think I had more patience than, cause I tried this pattern again , and hated it.
Does anyone recognize this fabric? This is Secret Garden by Robyn Pandolph. I fell in love with these fabrics and bought several yards and made several baby quilts for my Aunt to give as gifts. I was kind of jealous and so I made my own. Since there was no deadline, I never finished it. This was one of my first appliques and my first prairie points. It is layered and I have started to hand quilt it. So there should be no problem picking it up and finishing it, Right?

I still have lots of these fabrics, and I still love them all.
I finished up the last of my Christmas sewing! And I feel great. I made 2 of these cute little somethings and hopefully will have pics of them in use to show you after Christmas.

Have a great day, Brandie