Thursday, August 29, 2013

Julia learns to use the long arm

My friend Julia is learning to use my long-arm machine! This is her first quilt on a long arm!

She loves to piece quilts and pieced this lovely blue one!

The colors reminded her of the ocean so she quilted some wavy lines that reminded her of water. 

Well done Julia! It is fun to share, what I am so fortunate to have, and watch her learn!

A big plus, we love to visit together! Friends are such a great part of life!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tip for adding half square triangles

I want to share with you a technique for adding half-square triangles to a block. This technique is a little more precise, I think. Adding half-square triangles is what makes a snowball block and true lovers knot and bow-tie blocks what they are.

Step one, cut the corner off the main block. How far to cut depends on the size of triangle you are adding to the corner. You might need to play around with this by putting the corner block or half square triangle on the main block and folding until you know where the cutting line should be. 

After you know where to cut, cut all the corners off the main blocks the same size. I position the block on my cutting mat so I can use the diagonal line that is printed on the cutting mat as my guide. I use masking tape to mark the corners of the uncut block so that positioning does not require multiple measuring. 

Step two, I cut the corner triangles or blocks 1/4 inch larger than required. This allows for squaring up after sewing. I cut the blocks in half at this point so I can put it all together precisely. See picture below.

Then, sew with a 1/4 inch seam. Flip and press.

I press toward the darker fabric. In this case, it allows nesting of the seams and distributes the bulk nicely. However, pressing like this, makes stitch in the ditch impossible. So, if you want stitch in the ditch, press all seams either toward or away from the triangle. 

Then I trim the block to square. This takes off the extra fabric and fixes any wonkiness caused by working with the bias edges. 

I hope this helps you have more precise half square corners on your snowball, bow-tie and true loves knot blocks. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gentleman Caller

This beautiful Civil War reproduction quilt was pieced by Suzanne Keetch. She asked me to quilt it for her. I am so lucky to have a job I love! We did a beautiful meander and two borders.

I just got my first shipment of Dream Wool Batting. Suzanne wanted to try it--It quilted up beautifully!

I love this all over meander!

Here is a picture of the whole quilt! So beautiful!

Another view of the quilting on the back, I am loving this quilt so much!
I just love the overall effect of this meander.

Here is a shot that shows both borders and the meander on the back. 

A close up of the front. Suzanne your quilt is fabulous! Thank you for letting me quilt for you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thank You Eva!

I received an e-mail from Eva in the Czech Republic, what a treat! We have many things in common like Grandchildren and a love of sewing. She sent me some booties she knitted for my upcoming Granddaughter! They are so CUTE! I can not wait to put them on the little one. 

How nice of her!! 

She also sent me this beautiful handkerchief that she embroidered.

I feel so grateful to have Eva as my friend.  How fun is this blogging opportunity!?!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Animal Quilt

Sara Drussel has been a busy girl! She also pieced this charming quilt for a friend's baby boy.

I love the strong diagonal lines in this quilt.

Here is the back. Gotta Love Minky. When H saw the Minky he said he wanted a quilt out of it. 

What an adorable animal print!

I Love how the quilting looks on the back, almost like dinosaur skin. Perfect for a little boy!
Thank you for letting me quilt your quilt!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beautiful sunrise and a surprise visitor on my hike!

Saturday I was up American Fork Canyon at sunrise. I took this picture with my little phone camera.

Wow! what a beautiful world God has given us! I also spent about 2 breathless minutes watching a two point buck deer watching me watching him! Look Close, he is in the center of the photo.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Beautiful Strip Rose Quilt for Baby Mae

This charming quilt was pieced by Sara Drussel. That is K in the background.

She pieced it for my daughter, Ari's upcoming baby girl. How blessed is that little one?!

Here is the back. Love the Minky! The quilting compliments the texture in the fabric.

K is here to help me! Little ones can not resist Minky.

Here is a closeup. The quilt has cute ruffles, which I applied after I quilted an area. I sewed them on with the long arm machine. Slick! Your quilter appreciates when the embellishments go on after the quilting. 

Close up of the back---love it! This is a new meander I've started doing. It combines multiple elements which makes it sooooo interesting!

The lace on the quilt is vintage from Sara's grandmother's stash. How kind of her to share the lace with Ari. Thank you Sara for letting me be a part of this special project!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A clever Idea for cutting bias strips

So, I am going to bind a little quilt. I am using a 1/3 yard strip of fabric and I want to cut it on the bias. I came up with this idea to make it easier to cut the strips without having to measure every time I cut a strip. 

I measured from the diagonal line on my cutting mat with a ruler and marked it at 2 1/4 inches and then put a piece of masking tape along the new line. (I used 2 1/4 inches because that is the size I like to make my binding strips. If you like a different size, use that measurement!)

After cutting the fabric on the diagonal line once, just slide the cut edge to the tape and cut along the line marked on the cutting mat. Then you have cut after cut all the same size and no more measuring. 

Then join the edges and you have a bias binding strip!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Strawberry Pie

In case you want to make strawberry pie after you read about the Strawberry Filling I used to top my Classic Cheesecake, here is my Mom's delicious Pie Crust Recipe. It is amazing and it's the reason I love pie. Lately, we have been substituting half butter and half coconut oil in place of the Crisco because it has less trans-fat and we all know that trans-fat is not a good thing. The butter/coconut oil crust tastes yummy and a little coco-nutty. However, the coconut oil gets quite hard in the refrigerator and makes the cold crust a little tough to cut. So, you will want to set the pie out to warm a little while before serving for maximum yumminess.

Elaine's Crisco Pie Crust

My mom is famous for this crust.

1 2/3 cups flour (scant)
1 tsp. salt
¾ cups Crisco
1/3 cup water

Measure flour and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in Crisco. Put ¼ cup water into a small bowl add mixture by forkfuls to water to make a paste. Add paste to mixing bowl and lightly knead until you can form 2 even balls. Roll one out on floured, cloth-covered board. Keep other tightly covered. Adjust crust to fit pan. Bake at 425° for 12 to 15 minutes. Treat it lightly and it will be flaky.

Elaine's Fresh Strawberry Pie Filling

2 cups strawberries
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 Tab. lemon juice
2 Tab. butter

Smash 2 cups berries. Put them in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and bring it all to a boil. Then simmer for four minutes. While the strawberries are simmering place 2 cups sugar and 1/3 cup cornstarch in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the sugar mixture to the berry mixture and stir and then add 3 Tablespoons lemon juice to the pan. Cook everything until transparent (the cloudy cornstarch turns clear, it takes just a few minutes.) Add 2 Tablespoons butter. Stir until the butter melts. Arrange strawberries on the crust and drizzle the Strawberry Filling over it all. Chill and serve. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake

It turned out perfectly! I was so happy!  Real Simple recommends bringing all  the ingredients to room temperature so everything mixes thoroughly. This prevents the cheesecake from cracking. It works! Only one tiny tiny crack and the sour cream topping covered that up.

I did not try Real Simple's cherry sauce because I had fresh strawberries from my garden! The strawberry cheesecake was Heavenly. Steven thinks he will keep me around for another year. 

Here is the recipe I used for the Strawberry Topping:

Smash 2 cups berries. Put them in a saucepan with  1 1/2 cups water and bring it all to a boil. Then simmer for four minutes. While the strawberries are simmering place 2 cups sugar and 1/3 cup cornstarch in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the sugar mixture to the berry mixture and stir and then add 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice to the pan. Cook everything  until transparent (the cloudy cornstarch turns clear, it takes just a few minutes.) Add 2 Tablespoons butter. Stir until the butter melts. Arrange Strawberries on the cheese cake and drizzle the Strawberry filling over it all. Chill and serve. 

TIP: If you are not going to serve the whole cake on the same day, I recommend storing the cheesecake, the filling, and the strawberries separately and combining them on the plate when you serve it. It can still look artistic and it keeps much better. Strawberries keep better dry with their tops on in a Tupperware-like container. 

Here is a picture of H. 
He is feeling like a superhero and so did I when I made this cheesecake: I hope you do too!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cloudy Walk

This was the view on my walk today. What beautiful forces of nature!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ironing Board

My dear husband built an awesome table for my quilting room ironing board. It has a large flat surface and lots of storage space. I made an easy cover for it using some Ironing Board Cover Fabric from JoAnn's. 

The fabric has an aluminzed coating to give it a smooth, resilient surface.

I put two layers of cotton batting on the table top and made the cover to fit over it all. I put elastic on the corners. I just finished it and look forward to using it soon!



For a future project I am going to make hot pads with scraps from quilts and use some of the cover-fabric for the back of the hot pads...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Help I purchased too many fresh peas from Costco!

 Yum! Fresh Sugar Snap Peas! What a good deal! Into the cart they go. Days later we are tired of fresh peas and can not possibly eat another one. What to do with all that yumminess??? I don't like to waste. So, I cut the pea pod up and sauteed them in coconut oil. YUM! I added them to scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and cheese! Delicious. I still had more than I could use so, I froze the leftovers to use another day. No waste and a real time saver having almost fresh ingredients ready to add to other dishes.

After the holiday BBQ we had some onion slices left over. I diced them, sauteed them and put them in a ziploc freezer bag and into the freezer. Now one step is complete next time I cook, my fridge does not smell funky, and the onion did not go to waste.

I love my freezer.