Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bringing Out Spring

I'm finally putting away the last of the winter decorations. To replace winter items, spring is coming out. Hopefully this will encourage spring weather's arrival.

I made this bunny wall hanging a few years ago. I used hand applique on the bunny. My applique method was self taught, but after taking a class on hand applique I think I was doing OK. I tried to use a variety of white fabric and textured furry fabric for the tail and nose.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Paczki Day!

I don't know if paczki are eaten around the country today or just in our area. Paczki are kind of Polish donuts. Locally they have become popular the days before lent. Even though I'm Polish, I don't have many memories of paczki as a child. I do remember my aunt making them once, they were like a large donut hole with raisins. Not something I found exciting. The ones they sell locally are more like a extra sweet bismarks with a variety of fillings. Unfortunately I really like the modern version.

Krzysiak's House, a Polish restaurant in Bay City, sell thousands of paczki on Shrove Tuesday. They have a polka band playing and local radio and TV stations are there for the festivities.

Our paczki had a much less exciting origin, we bought them at Meijers.

The box we bought had raspberry filling, but there are a variety of fillings, cherry, custard, blueberry, apple, lemon, etc.

Ang lives in the Polish section of Brooklyn. When I talked to her last night, I suggest she buy an authentic paczki today. I doubt they are like the MI version.

P.S. Ang just emailed to say that the lady at the Polish bakery told her that in Poland they celebrate Fat Thursday, not Fat Tuesday. So she missed out on the paczki.

P.S.S. So Jenny is correct in her comment :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Copy Cat

I used to love coffee but can no longer drink it. So I've been drinking decaf tea. Unfortunately decaf tea is not always available when I go out, so I've been carrying some packets in my purse. Out there in Blogland tea has been a hot topic. I got the idea to make a tea wallet from Loft Creations. Stephanie also had a link to a tutorial for the wallet. I even found the same fabric Stephanie used in her tea wallet. Next time I will top stitch before I put the snap on the top flap because the snap was in the path of the sewing machine foot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Easter Egg Trivet

I saw a pattern for an Easter Egg table runner in Nancy's Notions. I liked the idea but the table runner was too large and more detailed than I wanted. I used my scraps and made up my own pattern. I used ideas from my sister-in-law, Kathryn. She made some really neat place mats using fabric strips and quilting as she sewed them to the batting and backing. I thought I had an original idea, but noticed one of the blogs I follow is already selling a similar pattern.

On the back of my trivet, I used some fabric Jenny gave me. She made me a cute tote a few years ago and gave me the fabric scraps along with the bag.

Jenny knows how much I like little critters. Not that I want any of the live ones inside the house, but I love fabric and figurines with cute critters.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jeff's Birthday Cake

I made Jeff a chocolate raspberry cake for his birthday. I found the recipe in Taste of Home. Instead of following the recipe for the cake from scratch, I used a Duncan Hines mix and added Dream Whip and dry chocolate pudding mix. I used 3 pans. The cake was too tall to use my cake carrier. I'm not sure I will make the cake again, very time consuming. It did taste good. Hopefully Jeff took the rest of the cake to work today, or he will be eating it for a long time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

My friend, Linda sent me this charming Valentine. She made the card and the envelope. Linda bought a Cricut machine and has been taking classes in card making. I think she does a beautiful job. Thanks, Linda.

Being retired allows for a lot of free time to do things like making cards, so I also made some Valentines this year. I used a little sewing, some ribbon, a few beads and then hunted the net looking for cute pictures.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Millington Quilt Club Meeting

The Millington Quilt Club met yesterday. First they have a business meeting and "Show & Tell". I showed off the quilt I made for Jeff. After lunch someone usually teaches us a new technique or pattern.
Many of the members only stay for the meeting and lunch. Linda and I stayed and worked on the group lesson. The lady presenting it called it a snowball block but I haven't found it called by that name any where else. We made 4 patches and then made them into mini quilted circles, quilting them in the ditch on the 4 patch side. The quilted circles are then sewn together. The top of the finished quilt is suppose to be the white side with the flaps.
Linda and I only put 4 circles together, thinking we could use them as a trivet. I used insulbright in mine for the batting because I wanted it to resist heat. I think that was a big mistake, the batting was too thick and sewing the circles together near the center was difficult. It was also hard to quilt over the flaps because the layers were too thick. Linda used warm & natural and had less trouble. Most of the other women were using thin poly filling. That was probably the best choice, but it wouldn't have been good to put hot dishes on. Some of the members were going to have a sleepover, sewing late into the night and this morning. It should be fun to see their quilts at the next meeting.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Snowball Quilt

I've finished the snowball quilt I've been working on for Jeff. (His birthday is on Valentine's Day) His living room has beige carpet, off white walls, one chair is a burnt orange and the sofa and love seat are tan. Orange is his favorite color. So much so that he painted his kitchen and dining room orange. Surprisingly it looks good. Of course I love bright happy colors too. I think the quilt will look nice folded over the sofa or love seat.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An Ang Original

Ang has been the family artist for years. We have her beautiful watercolors and pottery decorating our home. They are mostly projects she completed in college. She is now a graphic designer in the Big Apple. She has taken some jewelry designing classes in New York.

For Christmas she made me a pin. I really like pins and when I worked, I always wore one. The pin wasn't completely done at Christmas so I just saw it under construction. The completed pin arrived in the mail today.

The pin is really a miniature piece of art. Ang made it completely from scratch. She made the enameled background in her small kiln. (The back of the enameled side had tiny snowflakes in the blue background and I got to choose the side to be on the front. I figured snow would limit when I could wear the pin so I picked the shaded blue side.) The body of pin is made out of silver. She carved the detailed scene with the trees and tiny bunny. The back, the enamel and carved front were put together with a ring of silver. She has tools like Tom has in the shed but on a much smaller scale. Her welding equipment is a miniature of his. I'm sure I left out a lot of the steps involved in the construction but I know that it was a long and meticulous process. Ang got some technical advice from her boyfriend, Austin. He is a jewelry designer.

Ang told me she had insured the package with the pin for $200, just in case it got lost in the mail. In my mind, I can't place the monetary value on the pin. It means the world to me. Thanks sooo much, Ang.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Valentine Wall Hanging

Since it's now February I thought I could post this Valentine wall hanging. It was one of my first quilting projects many years ago. I didn't know about string piecing so I sewed the squares together separately. I'm sure glad I've learned some shortcuts.