Sunday, May 31, 2009

Only two weeks since planting and my rhublets are growing up! Check out the difference from my May 19th post compared to today. (No, the penny did not shrink) We've had ample rain and sunshine, perfect for plant growth. I have been watering them on any day that we don't receive rain, just to make sure they never want for moisture.
This lap quilt is another quilt for charity. Again, the material was donated to my church and it has a mixture of fabrics. I do believe that the top is all cotton, but the backing is flannel and my batting is some sort of thin fleece used for lining drapes. I hardly did any quilting at all, just around the scenes and the folded over binding. The fleece batting isn't going anywhere so I don't have to worry about it bunching up like some battings that require heavy quilting.
I have another small quilt to finish for my church. I have the top pieced, but have not laid it out for trimming, pinning, and then quilting. That's the hardest part in my opinion. I'd like to have it ready for quilting by Tuesday, when we meet at church for our afternoon of quilting. We'll see...........

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This block was made for the summer block exchange that I told you about a few posts back. The blocks were to be monochromatic and I chose teal for my colorway.

And one block leads to another, and another, and another.......just like chips, I guess. I made 20 blocks for the exchange, the most that you could send, and I will receive 20 different blocks in return. This was a fun exchange because the blocks were quick and simple to make. I get myself in too deep sometimes, making obligations that can be a real burden and difficult to fulfill. These blocks only took about 3 hours total, from cutting----to sewing----to ironing---to trimming. My kind of project.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In just a few days since my last iris photos, about half of the irises have opened up. They line my sidewalk and add some nice color next to my house. Irises are such troopers. They come back every year without any help from me. That's my kind of flower!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I had a spectacular day today at my friend Joyce's home. My quilting friends and I met at her house for a birthday lunch and fellowship. This time, instead of a birthday cake, I made this Cappuccino Cheesecake. It has to be the easiest cheesecake that I've ever made and very tasty. The recipe follows and came from the Taste of Home recipe collection.
Cappuccino Cheesecake Pie
With a rich mocha filling and cute chocolate garnish, this yummy pie is good any time at all.—Elisa Pellegriti, Florida, New York

TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 40 min. + chilling
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Domino® or C&H® Granulated Pure Cane Sugar
1 envelope mocha cappuccino mix (1/4 cup)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 extra-servings-size graham cracker crust (9 ounces)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon shortening
Directions: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cappuccino mix until smooth. Add eggs and milk; beat just until combined. Pour into the crust. Bake at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread into a 4-in. square on a sheet of waxed paper. Let stand at room temperature until firm, about 1 hour. Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out eight chocolate hearts. Top each serving with a heart. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.
Joyce has a huge pond behind her house and these humongous catfish (and others) came up for a good feast. It was a feeding frenzy and such fun to watch! We all had a great day communing with nature when Joyce took us on a Ranger ride through her wooded acreage. (We held on tight!) Perfect weather, perfect friends, perfect day. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I joined a new summer sway today. There are 50 swappers and we will each be making 20-6 1/2" blocks, using five fabrics with one colorway. Similar to the picture above. I've already picked out my fabrics and it should be fairly quick to get them all sewn (famous last words.....). The best part is waiting for the blocks from the other swappers to arrive. That won't be until mid July so I'll have to simmer down for the moment and be patient!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More garden shots. My iris's are just starting to bud. In a few days, they will all be in full bloom and will line the side of my house with purplishious color!

This is one of my freshly planted rhubarb plants. Rhublets, at this stage. I've planted 12 plants which will give me more rhubarb than I'll ever use once they mature. It will be a couple of years before these rhublets will produce, so I'll have to be patient and get my rhubarb from friends and farmers markets. I'll try to remember to take some shots as these plants grow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Block of the Month continues....... this is the May block. I substituted the fabrics again, using only the large blue flower fabric that was supplied. Although I like my fabric choices better, I'm not sure that I chose the best fabrics to make the pattern pop. Do-overs are just too time consuming and this block looks pretty good in person. I think I'll just leave it alone!
And another block in the pinwheel series. I'm still several blocks behind, in spite of the fact that these patterns are simple and quick. I think I need help with time management!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My church has a new quilting group that makes baby quilts for charitable organizations around the area. I joined the quilting group last week and finished my first baby quilt today. The fabric (and suggested pattern) was provided so this is not the fabric of my choice. In fact, this quilt contains different types of fabric, from cotton to cotton blends and polyester. Plus, the fabrics had very different thread counts. Fabrics that I would normally not combine in anything other than an art quilt or wall hanging.

Well, it is. It's about 36" x 36", which was a hint smaller than the size of the backing that I was given. It's a very simple 9-patch.

I did want to point out the way that I quilted this baby quilt. Because of the different fabrics and thread counts, and because a baby quilt that is actually used may get washed almost daily, I wanted to make sure that the seams held up to a lot of use. I used a narrow zigzag stitch to quilt the layers and to reinforce the seams. Hopefully, the fabric will actually wear out before the seams give way.

This is the back side of the baby quilt. The zigzag stitch (plus the slick polyester fabric) gives an unusual finish compared to normal quilting but I still think it was the right decision to help this quilt hold up to daily use.

Most importantly, of course, I pray that the child who receives this quilt will live a healthy and happy life!