Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Feathered Friends

With all the snow and cold, the birds have been busy at the bird feeder. The most colorful is the Cardinal, he just looks stunning against the snow.

It's always nice to see the birds sharing at the bird feeder.

This is a White-breasted Nuthatch, he likes to hang on the side the birdhouse before he flies to the bird feeder.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snowball Under Construction

I'm working on a throw for Jeff's birthday on Valentine's Day. His living room is mostly shades of beige with orange accents. I have 16 different prints, mostly in shades of brown, green and orange. The pattern I'm using is the snowball square. So far I have the 118 squares made but still have to arrange and sew them together. The photo show some of the different squares.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Four Seasons

Jenny told me that since I was new to blogging I could post old projects that I hadn't previously posted.
I had started this project about 25 years ago. I remember working on the cross stitch when the kids were taking swimming lessons. About 8 years ago, I finally completed it. Each of the four season scenes is cross stitched then the landscape is pieced fabric.
Ang, the family artist, once told me this was the nicest project I had made. I think I agree.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam

Ang made Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam for Christmas. We finally got around to using it today. I made roast beef sandwiches on Portuguese roll with melted provolone cheese. On the top of the bun I spread her jam. The lumpy parts are the roasted garlic. Yummy sandwiches, just like eating lunch in a high end restaurant.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paper Piecing

I tried paper piecing for the first time. I'm not sure I'm pleased with the process, I think I wasted too much fabric. I found different methods for paper piecing, so next time I will try another way. I made a couple of trivets for Valentine's day. There are 3 hearts on the trivet. They seem to be modern art to me, I liked the look but Tom wouldn't see the hearts in the finished product.
I bought the backing online at I wanted something with hearts and really like batik fabric. The background is plum colored but it doesn't show up in the picture.

Last Wednesday was our quilt group meeting. After the business part of the meeting we have show and tell. I showed off the rag quilt I made for Linda and a picture of the MSU Santa. The women seemed to like both. Linda showed off her table runner, nice job, Linda :) Some of the women had beautiful queen size quilts to impress us with. Another member told us about a quilt artist she met over the holidays. The artist was published and some of her work was in the new Quilting Arts magazine. The artist has a website, if you like quilted art you might enjoy looking at the site I think her work is really impressive, I wish I could draw better because that would be my style for quilting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Latest Projects

A friend whose birthday is next month decorates her kitchen using an apple theme. I made her an apple trivet. I pieced the apple using Quilt Fuse, the same product I used in the MSU Santa.

In August, I took a hand applique class at My Lil' Quilt Shop . I finally finished the project and made a pillow out of the finished square.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blue Jays

When Tom and Jeff went snowmobiling last week, they found an old bag of peanuts in their shells in the back of Jeff's snowmobile. The peanuts had been there since last winter and were not fit to eat, so Tom has been putting a few in the bird feeder box every day. The blue jays love the peanuts. When one blue jay discovers that the peanuts have been put out, they spread the word to their buddies. Within a few minutes all the peanuts disappear.

Before the blue jay left with his peanut, another blue jay flew into the box. The second blue jay looks a little jealous since that was one of the last peanuts.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fluffy Snow

This is one of the woodpeckers who enjoys eating our suet. We have a basket hanger for suet also. The suet in the photo is in a box Tom added to the bird feeder. We have a number of woodpeckers and blue jays who really seem to have fun attacking the suet.

This morning it was beautiful outside. The tree branches were covered with fluffy snow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rag Quilt for Linda

I finally finished Linda's Christmas present. I the sewing and clipping done when we went out on Monday but hadn't washed it yet. Kathryn advised me to take rag quilts to the laundromat the first time I made one. Good advice, I wouldn't want to plug my washer's drain with a lot of fuzz and short thread pieces. The front of the quilt is my own design, the back just happened. I didn't stitch Xs in the small squares since they ended up less than 4 inches. In the large squares I quilted using a flower shape.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Christmas Presents

Yesterday I met my friend,Linda and her daughter, Amy to go shopping for fabric at Hobby Lobby and JoAnns. Not surprising.......only I bought fabric. During lunch, Linda gave me my Christmas presents. I hadn't finished hers yet......future post. She gave me a Fragrance Express snowman, dish towels and some hand made dish clothes. Linda knitted a pattern into each of the dish clothes, a birdhouse and a cardinal. I'm really impressed with the patterns. Thanks, Linda.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baked Crab Rangoon

When Ang was at WMU and working in Kalamazoo, she found a Chinese restaurant that had great takeout that was inexpensive. She told us that we had deprived her as a child since we hadn't introduced her to crab rangoon. Well, we had never had it either. Since the dish impressed her so much, we started checking crab rangoon out at different Chinese buffets. She was correct, the little fried won tons are delightful. However, I don't want to think about how many calories they contain. A while ago, I came across a recipe for baked crab rangoon. The recipe called for won ton wrappers but I used mini fillo shells. They turned out quite good and I'm sure they contained fewer calories.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More Christmas Gifts

I received a lot of nice presents for Christmas. I got TWO pieces of Polish Pottery. My sister-in-law, Pam sent a lovely bowl. It's just the perfect size to use as a serving dish. Another sister-in-law, Faye gave me an apple. Perfect for my apple themed kitchen. Right now I have chocolate in it but maybe I will remove that temptation and keep my tea bags in the apple.
Faye also made me beautiful holiday hot pads. I had been thinking I needed to make some Christmas hot pads for myself, these are so much more detailed than what I would have made.

For Christmas with Tom's family, we drew numbers and then picked the present we wanted from the stack. You could also steel a present someone else had picked. I got the present Chris brought..a tote bag with a $20 gift card to JoAnn Fabric :) :) :) Luckily no one stole it from me. (Of course that may be because I thought the present was only the tote. When Chris pointed out there was a gift card I suprised and didn't think to open it and tell everyone it was for $20) I used the card to buy a book on jewelry making. The pictures in the book are step by step and show little details. Ang gave me some jewelry tools for my birthday so I also bought some wire to practice with. Hopefully I will be able to make some earrings and bracelets.