Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Goals

   Today starts a new month.  But it's going to be just as busy as last!!  So excited to finish all my goals and get started with a new month.  

Aprils Goals:

1- It's time to start Project Quilt Monthly Challenges. 

2- I am Pattern testing for Bea Lee and need a quilt done by months end. 

3- Pantone Quilt challenge.  Hope to be able to enter 2. 

4- Start on Anna and Sheila's quilts

5- Pat Sloan's String Bean Quilt

6- 1 Ahhhh for the Deco collection 

Wofford T-shirt Quilt

     One of the biggest joys is always being asked by others to make something.  Over the last 2 years I have made several t-shirt quilts and memory quilts.  Time though is the only thing that stops me from making as many as others would like.  But I was in one of those accept another project moods last month and I took on another shirt quilt!!

     After a really busy month I have picked this project up and laid it down several times.  But I finally finished it today!!!   T-shirt quilts take a lot of time and patience to get right.  There are no 2 the same.  There is a lot of measuring and planning that goes into each one.  I truly have to be in the right mood to work on one.  I guess this goes for any quilt and me.  I do my best work when i have an idea and motivation for the project. 

     After much cutting and planning this became a scrappy T-shirt Quilt. I decided to use 2 different fabrics in the quilt to first finish the blocks into rows. I wanted the fabric to complement the colors in the quilt.  Be able to be something that would be in style for generations.  I decided on this damask fabric I had.  I used the black and purple in the rows.  Then I added 2 1/2 inches of gray between each row and to put a first border on the quilt. 

     After sashing them out I decided that the quilt was just not big enough.  I added 4 inches of black as the second sashing.  This made it perfect.

     For the backing I sewed 2 pieces of the cordinating fabric together.  One black and 1 gray. 

     I free motion quilted it together.   I started by meandering and adding hearts, but after about 30 minutes in I remembered how hard FMQ was on the machine and my threads kept popping.  The only thing I can ever figure out with this is that the knit fusible backing does not run the thread or needle right and encourages breakage and dulls the needle quickly.   So I changed my needle and went back to just meandering.  With only a few more thread popps we finished. 

     For the binding I used the Purple.  Again I like chunky binding and just this little amount of suttle purple made the colors in the blocks pop.  The purpose of the complementary colors in the fabric  is not for them to stand out, but to allow the blocks to stand out. I feel these three fabrics did just that! 

     This is a birthday quilt present for  a well deserving young lady.  Not to mention her mom was sooooo proud that she was last years Homecoming Queen.  I was actually excited after starting this quilt.  My father in law went to Wofford many years ago and loved his school.  I knew he would also love this quilt!  The little things I can find in common about the person I am making for and I gives me more enthusiasm and creativity in making the quilt!!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Not The Freezer Section Chicken Nuggets

     We have all had those Frozen nuggets.  Some of us have had the ones that claim to be "chicken breast pieces", but we know their not!  I hate them, but love real chicken breast nuggets! 

    I went into Publix again and tried one of their Apron meals!!  I loved the nuggets, so I grabbed a card!  I went to the aisle and of course couldn't find the cornbread Jalapeño crackers it called for.  Yep, my luck, out of stock.  So I decided to make my own. 

     So here is my adapted recipe.

-1 pack boneless skinless chicken breasts. I used the frozen ones.
-1 container Italian bread crumbs.  I used the store brand. 
-1 container Panko seasoned bread crumbs.
-Garlic Powder seasoning
-Old Bay Seasoning
-Ground Red Pepper Seasoning
-Cooking Oil Spray

     The amount of each item you will need relies on the amount of chicken you are cooking. 

1- Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch chicken cubes.  

2- Place in bowl and cover with Buttermilk.  Mix in 1 teaspoon red pepper.  Leave in fridge overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours. 

3- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with oil. 

4- Combine 2 cups bread crumbs, 2 cups Panko crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper(less if you don't desire spice). 

5- A few pieces at a time, drain chicken, then place into bread crumbs. Use either fork or hands and press crumbs into chicken.  You will need to add more of the breadcrumb mixture as you go along, dependent on the amount of chicken being cooked. 

6- Place chicken on greased pan, slightly separated. 

7- Cook for 12-14 minutes until tender. 


I Made It to Number 50!!

    As most of you know, I love Ahhhh's!! And if you don't know what they are, hop over to Hillbilly Quilt Shop and check them out!  Their real name is Artistic, Hexitic, Hectic, Hillbilly Hexagons.  

   As some of you have realized I have made way more then 50 by now, but I have finally finished every one between #1 and #50 in my favorite fabric "Deco" by Jason Yenter.  

     This has been truly a hard adventure because some of these have very little pieces and the sides only equal 3 inches.  This one has 108 diamonds in it.  

  #50- Illusions has taken me forever,  not because it is hard,  but because I am always scared I will loose pieces or I never cut the right amount of the color needed.  But here it is finally done!!! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Scrappy Sunday!!!


     Today I am cutting up lots of teal, Aqua, cream and red scraps.  I cut these into 2.5 inch strips that I am using for my Pat Sloan String Bean Challenge!!!   More to come, hopefully in a week or so.

March Finishes

     Here another month has all to quickly come to an end.  It seems like they keep flying by.    I keep track of my finishes each month and get motivated by the blog competition "A Year of Lovely Finishes"

     As for this months goals,  I am proud to say I have realistically finished!!!  Down to the wire with the Ahhhh's, but we are done!  

     Here is the center star for my Pantone Challenge.  I think I am over halfway done with the outside pieces!!

Here is Project Quilt Entry #5

And #6

My sewing machine mat

And my Kinberley Einmo Center block

And lastly,  my Ahhhh's!!  #50

And #53

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shrimp Scampi with Spinach and Roasted Peppers

     The other night as I was walking threw  Publix I of course was drawn to the smell of their sample station.   They were making a shrimp dish.  After I tried it, I knew I had to make it!!   But if you know me, I like to make it better and always add more veggies!!

     So here is my interpretation of their Shrimp Scampi with Spinach and roasted  peppers.  

-1 bag frozen shrimp, deveined, peeled and tail removed 
-1 large box Thin Spaghetti noodles(or really, whatever you have)
-1 teaspoon red pepper powder
-1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
-1 cup sweet roasted red peppers. 
-1 green bell pepper
-1 large onion
-6 tablespoons butter
-5 ounce package of spinach
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoons chicken broth powder
-1/2 cup water
-freshly grated Parmesan 

1- Cook noodles in method of choice.  When finished, drain well.
2- Sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil.
3- When peppers are soft, add shrimp, spinach, roasted peppers, water, garlic, pepper, and chicken broth. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink. 
4- Mix in butter cut into small pieces.
5- Mix in noodles, tossing lightly.
6- Plate and top with Parmesan. 

     I know this is not my regular blog post, but it was easy to make and disappeared quickly at my house.  Next time I am adding more spinach.  It seems like a lot at first, but shrinks down quickly.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Day with Kimberly Einmo!!!

     All of my quilting friends will be the only ones to understand what it means to not only spend a day with Kimberly Einmo, but a day and a half!!!  If you don't know who she is, she is a world renowned quilter.  Yeah, one of those you see on TV!!

     It started Saturday with her being a speaker at the Quilters of South Carolina Spring Meeting.  Then Sunday I attended one of her classes.  

     It was amazing to learn how normal she was.  She acted like one of us and treated each of us like we were her friend!!

     The class was on her Quilt, Modern T's, which is in her book; Modern Quilts and More. It highlighted her Flying Geese Ruler.  And can I tell you was eye opening to me!!!

     We started the morning by learning about the ruler and grains of fabric.  It's always good to have suttle reminders of things we already know.  The EZ Flying Geese ruler has 2 sides.  An "A" side and a "B" side.  The secret is if you can read the writing correctly you have the ruler turned the right direction.  The goal of the ruler is to speed up the cutting and sewing process while leaving no waste. Each side has a coordinating set of colored lines.  Pink for Breast cancer and Mint for Ovarian cancer.  The "A" side makes the actually geese, while the "B" side makes the outside little triangles.  There is a corner missing.  This is done to give you a better starting place and allow you less points to trim off!

     She gave us a hint while teaching use to cut.  To achieve ruler control you should not hold your ruler with your palm, but instead with your finger tips.  Then leaving your pinky on the outside on the mat, to keep the ruler from moving and establishing control. 

     Her rulers,  including the Jelly Roll(which I wish she would make a 6x24 like!),  have the same type of lines her choice of coloring is easy to see and just has the inch and 1/2 inch lines.  This allows for less confusion! 

     I have not done flying geese except for in quilt along blocks.  I have decided in this quilt I will try to master them and do one more!  My first block did not turn out perfect.  I have decided instead of ripping it out,  I am going to use it to make something and make a second.  I usually don't do this, but I think that this will be the first quilt I send to a Longarmer.  So I want to try harder to make it worth it!!

     The next tip Kim gave us was after I already put my block together.  She showed us what seams to iron open.  One of my downfalls is hate doing.  She showed us this little gadget that I of course bought.  It honestly made it easier to iron the seams open. It's called the strip stick.  It has a curve in it that allows the pieces of fabric to lay open around while you iron.  This is the 18 inch one. 

    Once you learn the first block it is easy to chain piece the rest.  The first one is a little different and not as easy to chain together.  It is easier to lay out and sew a section at a time.  

     Kim then taught us a neat way to do a pinwheel block that I will be trying soon and will hopefully be giving you an update on!  Her method allows for a more accurate point that lays flatter!  

     One of the most exciting parts of the class was that she chose to sew on my sewing machine!!  Every quilters dream!! A famous person using their machine!!!

     After a busy work week and a weekend that I felt was to short,  spending the last 2 days with this quilt group makes it all worth it!!!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

No Better Way to spend National Quilt Day!!!


     I spent National Quilt day at the Quilters of South Carolina Annual Spring Meeting.  This was my first ever true quilt Guild meeting!!! So I think it was the Perfect day!!  

     Kimberly Einmo was the speaker.  Her theme was different ways to use precuts!!  Honestly an inspiration!!!   I walked away with some new ideas!

     I also walked away with the new thought of fabric dyeing.  A gentlemen from Charleston County Parks gave us an education on how to use the Indigo plant to dye fabric.   The surprise to me was that indigo was once the main crop of the area I currently live.  And most likely the land I live on once I googled the plantation he spoke of.  Neat to learn little St. Stephen area history!!

     Of course I shopped a little at the retreat and bought my first ever Wool appliqué project!!  Excited to start, but first I have to finish my Stars!!

     Yes, I even found time while listening to speakers to sew up some EPP for my soon to be displayed new project!! 

     Then,  I came home and finished my Project Quilt Challenge!!  Oh and then the best part,  ironed and precut the stuff off my supply list for my Kimberly Einmo class in the morning!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Scrappy Blue Spinning Nines

     This is the last regular season Project Quilt Challenge of the year.  This Challenge might be the hardest of the year.   We usually are given a theme and then after that we decide on fabric and design.  This time we were told what size fabric we had to use.   This throws a wrench in my thought process. It makes me think out of order.  

     I first started this challenge thinking I was going to make an ISPY quilt.  Then as I went threw the charm squares I had packed away, I decided to to use a pile of blue floral fabric as my base.  

     I won this pile of charms about 2 years ago.  I knew it wasn't my style so I couldn't decide what to use with it.  So it went in my Charm square drawer, where it sat till now.  I had 54 of them.  

    I then started to ponder what to do with them.  In the same stay I found the squares were white and blue squares that looked good with it!!  I had to cut more, but that was fine!! I only had the exact number I needed for the quilt.  I found a few more charm squares of dark blue and white.  My decision was made!!  I went to my stash and found a country blue I knew would be perfect!  Then as I was looking I also found a scrap of white with Blue dots.  The 4 fabrics blended with the floral well!!

    While I was choosing fabric,  my thought went to a pattern I bought from the blogger that hosts project quilt.  I knew then it would be the perfect one to alter to fit this challenge!!  It is called Spinning Nines.  I am really wanting to do the pattern in batiks, but this will do for now!!

     To make the quilt,  you must first sew the desired amount of nine patches together.  I decided to make 4 rows of three blocks.  Every other row had a rotation of the layout.  This used up everyone of my floral blocks.

     The Next step was very easy.  I cut the blocks in an "X", from corner to corner. 

     I rotated the blocks so that there was a random layout of diamonds around the quilt.   Some of the floral kept appearing next to each other but I just let it.  For a few I tried uniformity,  but then realized it did not work. 

     After sewing 4 triangles together to form new blocks I sewed the quilt into rows.  Then all together. 

     The quilt seemed small and I still had extra charms.  So I cut them in half and made a 2 inch border for the quilt.  The quilt ended up being 42x54. 

     I used the country blue as the binding.

     For the backing, I did not like any of my normal yardage.  As I dug threw my bigger pieces, I found a bigger piece of green from the same error. When I put it up to the blues, it looked just right!!

     I am still watching a section of Leah Days FMQ video every time I make a quilt.  The lesson I watched for this was a 3 loop clover/flower with stippling. It took me till I was almost done to really get the feel of this.  I do love how it turned out.  They are not perfect, but it works!!

     The hardest part and the step I need to learn more about was sewing the triangles back together.  The center ended up with humps from the 4 points.  I guess this will be my next lesson to teach myself!!

     I hope you enjoyed this season of Project Quilt as much as me.  I always enjoy the adventure and the challenge to try something new!!  Best of all,  I completed all the projects again this year just using my stash!! 

     Sadly,  this quilt is going to Mrs Doris from the little hospital I work at.  She is the newest victim of the dreamed word cancer.