Saturday, December 24, 2011

And the snow continues...

It's certainly going to be a white Christmas here!  We had quail feeding in our carport where the feeder hangs, cleaning up all the fallen seed, plus whatever I throw on the ground for the ground feeders.  We've seen them passing through our yard but never feeding.  They must be really hungry to hang out for a long while--they left when I went outside to throw more seed on the ground, and then came back!

Wednesday was a momentary break in storms and we went to town.  We needed a few things, and I figured it would be our only opportunity.  They've done a great job of predicting these storms and were right on again.  It snowed Thursday, and yesterday it snowed all day.  Dale braved the weather, shoveled a path to the garage (sewing room) and within a couple of hours it filled in.  Highways closed again all around us!  He walked to the post office, and came home with my order from Keepsake Quilting.  Woo-hoo!

This last storm tracked more south, and so I-25 north of us was open and clear even on Raton Pass.  Looks like we may be able to get to Colorado!  I finished a couple of last minute sewing projects yesterday and baked bread.  I blogged about this bread here, and it has become my favorite bread recipe, always consistent.  Yesterday I substituted the butternut squash with sweet potato, and it came out just as good.  This weather is certainly great for baking!  Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No shortage of snow!

This was the scene outside our windows yesterday all day!  Lindsay and I had a very productive weekend.  We made our dipped chocolate candies--which still need their chocolate coating, mocha brandy balls, lasagne for her to take to a potluck, and cardamom bread for another pot luck as well.  She works Christmas eve and Christmas day, and they have potlucks on both days.  

We also did sewing and crafting.  Got stethoscope covers made, and the little ABC Already Been Chewed--aptly named by Marcia of Quilter's Cache) wool gingerbread man ornaments.  I was surprised that Geoff made it to pick her up from Albuquerque and then back home again.  Shortly afterwards they closed I-40 from Albuquerque to the Texas border.  

Seems like it will be a white Christmas here.  This latest storm joins the snowfall that started December 3rd and still hadn't completely melted!  Seems like we're going to get a bit of sunshine today, which will help a lot with gain for our sun room.
This sunrise picture is through the window in the sun room door--Too cold and I wasn't suitably dressed to go outside to snap it!  Keep warm everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Robt I and Robot II

Jackie asked me to make robots for the boys--like one she saw in a magazine.  My first attempt wasn't it.  It resembles the magazine robot, but the head is floppy, and I just wasn't happy with it.  Of course I cut two at a time, so have arms and legs for another like this one.

I decided to use wool to make a different style of robot, after doing a lot of looking online.  First attempt with this design didn't work out either.  The wool was too thick and I couldn't sew through two thickeness of it.  This brown one is going to be it.  Now I just need to make another one just like it--well same size, shape, and body wool.  Will probably change up the face a bit.

I also saw this potholder, and was inspired to make one.  I thought the "girlie" western fabric was a good fit for the front.
I've been rather lucky this month entering blog giveaways...  I got my copy of Stitch Gifts today which I won from Jessica at j.m.b.   In my quick look at this magazine, there are a lot of projects I want to do. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Freezing fog

This is getting to be a habit around here.  The freezing fog settled in again this morning.  Yesterday it kept us from observing the lunar eclipse.  Bummer! 

We spent the day in Albuquerque, where a visit with the itinerant (Brazilian) consulate will hopefully result in a five year passport for me.  It warmed up nicely there. 
Seems like we are under a heavy blanket of cold air, and we still haven't lost much of our snow with more forecast for the coming week.  This is still the view out our sun room window of our street.  We've been able to walk daily to the post office with adequate layers, sunshine, and no wind.  Looks like it's lifting a little earlier today, which will make the birds happy I'm sure.


Friday, December 09, 2011


I was thrilled to hear from Dr. Kaufman that this quilt made over $5,000 in the raffle for JDRF.  I'm so happy that it did so well.  I can't thank my quilting buddies enough, and especially Colene, who gave me this top at last year's Phoenix retreat.  This is just the impetus I needed to keep making quilts for newly diagnosed kids.  Dr. K. also shared that she'd had 13 new patients in the past two weeks!  We remembered this past week, the "anniversary" of sorts when Lindsay was diagnosed 14 years ago at the tender age of 12.  Dr. K. is gifting her winning quilt to Lindsay.  
 We continue to enjoy a winter wonderland.  The snow isn't exactly melting with our cool temperatures, but it sure is a lot more tolerable with sunshine.  It hovered around freezing yesterday, but we were able to sustain comfortable temperatures without using heat and the house opened to the sunroom.

Back to the sewing room--I've had the heat on in there until the sun takes over in a couple of hours.  I'm inspired to get more quilts done for my next delivery. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Winter is here!

Saturday was the longarm meeting in Albuquerque and the roads between Willard and I-40 were not driver friendly, at least for this driver.  However, Dale was nice enough to drive me to the meeting, 80+ miles, and entertain himself with grocery shopping while I had a good time.  He came to pick me up just in time to enjoy our pot luck lunch.

We've had several snowy days now with freezing fog, blowing snow, and frigid temperatures.  The temperature above is after a low of -14, but the best part is the little sun symbol.  Our sun room is doing an amazing job of maintaining temperatures, although this morning it was a chilly 45 in there.  However after less than two hours of sunshine, it's already nearing 60.  On sunny days the temperatures easily top the 80s with the room open to the rest of the house.  It's performing much better than we expected.
Yesterday we finished trimming out the windows with drywall.  Today the plan is to clean up the drywall dust, and put up our Christmas tree. 
 I love the flocked trees outside from the freezing fog, but enjoy it more with sunshine!  A couple of days of freezing fog and blowing snow without sunshine was more than enough.  I need to turn on the heat in my sewing room so I can go out there. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Glorious sunrises

I almost always see the sun come up since I am an early riser.  Winter sunrises are pretty spectacular around here.  I know, it's not technically winter yet, but close enough.
 Our sun room has been performing better than our expectations.  Dale is frequently working out there in shorts, as on sunny days the temperature tops out close to 90, and that's with the door open to the house.  We've certainly used less heat already.  Even on a couple of overcast days the temperature climbs to comfortable 70s!
 I finished the last of quilts from the tops Yetta sent me.  I backed this one with pieced flannel.  It's a soft, cozy quilt.

 Now I'm working on Pat's crane quilt interspersed with cooking foods to take for Thanksgiving.  So much to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three on one back...

Pat picked up some shot cottons on sale.  They are beautiful, but rather thin.  It took ironing with a lot of starch to be able to load on the longarm, but provided backing for three quilts.

The color achieved from the threads makes the fabric shimmer.  This top Pat put together from blocks we acquired at the retreat in Phoenix in February.  There is already a lot of buzz for next year's 10th anniversary retreat on the quilting forum.
The next two are from Yetta.  I've already got four quilts for my next delivery, and a fifth ready to load and quilt.  Thanks to all my friends whose extra blocks, tops, etc. help make these quilts.

 The sky was ablaze yesterday morning with color.  The day in comparison was gray and cloudy with the ever present breeze.  The sun room is already performing even on such a cloudy day, and was able to keep the temperature at 70 throughout the day. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Plugging along

I got this top finished that Pat put together while she was here.  The center medallion was from Judy H., and I think it made a wonderful, bright top.

I finally used up the last of this yellow batik, except for a few scraps.  I bought it for a couple of dollars a yard at a store closing in Minnesota. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...Halloween??

They were predicting snow, but I really didn't expect to see this when I looked out my back door up this morning.  I'm hoping the sun will come out and do a lot of melting before I head up to Colorado.  Driving in snowy, slick roads is not my idea of a good time!

It is beautiful to look at, and we certainly need the moisture.  Hope some of it is making it over to Texas, where they need it even more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thanks Yetta!

Yetta sent me a bunch of tops besides the guitar quilt to quilt for her grandson.  This is the first one I finished, and there are several more that just need borders to grow them a little.  Thanks Yetta!

 I finished this one to deliver 11 quilts to Dr. Kaufman today.  It was a great day, all our errands fell into place in a timely fashion.  I found convenient parking spaces everywhere I went.  Some days are just like that...the stars align and everything works well.  It didn't end perfectly--we brought home our repaired TV and there was no power cord in the box!  Oh well, all in all everything else went without a hitch. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

...with a little help from my friends

Having quilty friends makes it much easier to get a lot of quilts finished.  Especially when one of those friends comes for a week and is a production quilter.  Thanks Pat for putting together these quilt tops!
Judy A. gave us the center Corvettes and Ellen (if memory serves, which it frequently doesn't anymore) gave us the backing.  Pat had made yards of bias binding from a diagonal print featuring signal lights some time ago.  This was a most appropriate use of it!
It's a great quilt for a boy.  It seems harder to put together "boy" quilts from our stash.

Cathy gave us some blocks, and Pat magically transformed them into this top using a Savers fabric from my stash that picked up the colors for a border.
I also had a perfect backing fabric, a woven plaid also from Savers that was wide enough not to have to be pieced.  Yay!
 Thanks again friends!  A lot of children are going to get some comforting quilts!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Space for a girl

Pat put one more top together from the space blocks she had along with some of my stash fabrics.  We thought this one would be more of a girl's quilt, since it had purple binding and a flowered backing.

 I'm hoping to finish a few more so I can deliver an even dozen to Dr. Kaufman on Wednesday. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cranking them out...

Pat picked up the space blocks as part of a kit--for a wall hanging.  She combined them to make three tops.  I had some space fabric as well to add to it.  
 We used a sheet from Savers that must be really high thread count, although we didn't discover a few holes in it until we were rolling it up on the longarm.  

Pat added a little applique of space fabric to cover the holes on the backing, but not without bleeding on it in the process.  In washing it out I noticed that the backing is such a tight weave that it holds water!  
Our stack of quilts is growing, and I'm going to deliver them next Wednesday so I'll be able to finish some more.  

I also quilted Pat's beautiful zen quilt.  It came together wonderfully, and the binding fabric was a batik that was a dream to use besides being beautiful.  It's waiting for something else to run a load in the washer.  The week is going by much too quickly.  Back to the sweatshop...the third space quilt is waiting for binding.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another finish

Another quilt from Kathy E.'s blocks.  I don't have 30s in my stash except for one small piece of vintage blue with little white characters--a small piece and only 36" wide, so after I put together these blocks I was having a hard time adding anything to it to make it a little bigger and more rectangular.

Pat has a good eye for putting things together.  Works for me, and another top done for one of Dr. Kaufman's patients.  Thanks Kathy E!  I have a quilt to bind...back to the sweatshop.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A friend's quilt

A friend from AZ, Yetta, made this wonderful quilt for her grandson.  When I saw the picture of it on the quilting forum we frequent, I thought it would be a fun quilt to do.  She entrusted me to do the quilting.
  I'll be mailing it out to her today.  I hope she's happy with the results! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lemons, lemonade and such...

We recently stopped at Schwebach Farms in Moriarty on the way home and I bought a buttercup squash.  Had never tried it before, and it looked appropriately like fall with bumpy outer skin and witche's moles here and there.  I planned to make a squash and goat cheese filling for tortellini.

Well, the best laid plans.  After I roasted the squash and mixed it with the goat cheese, it was a bit too watery, and would just squeeze out of the tortellini as I tried to fold them in the appropriate shape.  I decided to abandon the squash and just stuff my torts with plain goat cheese.  We had them in a thin chicken broth with a few slivered vegetables, and it was yummy.

The next day I looked for some yeast bread recipes featuring squash and found this one.  I think this may be one of the most delicious yeast breads I've ever made!!  What a wonderful way to use up the squash, and I'm sure the bit of goat cheese that I had mixed with it didn't hurt the bread any.  I froze a couple of loaves to have when Pat is here.

 I may get squash to just use in breadmaking now!  Looking forward to a week of sewing (and eating) when Pat's here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Another one finished

It's good to have quilting friends that give you blocks and pieces parts to make quilts for our cause!  Kathy E. was very generous with blocks from swaps she participated in on quilting forum and wasn't going to use.  

I made this blue and white quilt from the sampler blocks.  I had the perfect backing in my stash.  I love it when I don't have to piece a backing.  This one just fit.
 Thanks Kathy, and I'll be using the other blocks soon in a quilt!