Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Scrappy Little Teddy...

...made his appearance today. See earlier post "Scraps du Jour". And I STILL have enough of those flannel scraps to make another project; I just can't decide between two possibilities at the moment.
Right now though, I want to get my green strippie quilt basted so I can start quilting it this week.
But, in the spirit of procrastination, I'll share my dinner recipe from tonight:

Almost Fat-Free Turkey Loaf
1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey breast
1/2 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup EACH finely chopped green pepper, onion, and carrot
1/4 of a 16 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all moisture squeezed out
1/4 cup Egg Beaters or 1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients except ground turkey breast until well mixed. Add turkey, mix gently until ingredients are evenly incorporated into the turkey. Form into a loaf shape, place in ovenproof pan. Bake for 1 hr.

I like to serve roasted potatoes and carrots with this, or any other kind of meatloaf. Cut up potatoes (with skin on) and carrots into pieces about the size of your thumb. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite dried herbs, and add to pan around the loaf. Turn veggies once about midway through cooking time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ali made me do it...

update my blog, that is. Hey, Ali, this post's for you.
Here's my latest project. It hadn't been around long enough to qualify for a UFO; as I started it back in early autumn. It was begun on one of those days when I needed to start a new quilt project- RIGHT NOW! I have had a long-time love for pomegranate motifs in crewel embroidery, but the traditional pomegranate appliqué patterns just didn't excite me. This is my version- soft curves, voluptuous globes of fruit, fast and easy to appliqué. I didn't want to take the time to shop for fabric, so I pulled from my stash. More OPM (see earlier posts) to the rescue- the background fabric, as well as the backing (another tone-on-tone tan) were quilt guild freebies.
When I pulled out the top last week to add the borders, I was unable to find the leftover tan fabric I had set aside for the pieced border I had planned. In retrospect, I think that was a good thing, because I really love the simplicity of the wide red border. Machine quilting it was simple; I used fusible Mountain Mist batting and was thrilled with not having to remove basting stitches or pins.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scraps du Jour - One project down...

I made this tea cozy today, and I still have half the scraps left. Tomorrow is another day.

Scraps du Jour Update

It's in progress and it has prairie points!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scraps du Jour

If you've read my previous posts you know I'm a sucker for free fabric (give my your tired, your poor, your unwanted scraps longing to be put into a quilt). This little pile of beauties has me itching to create- I hope they tell me soon just what they want to be when they grow up.
They're flannel, and as you can tell from the photo, the pieces are quite small. Except for the plaid in the upper left, they appear to be scraps from a single project. Stay tuned to watch them get turned into...um...something.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The last of the Christmas presents...

...is finally done. Now I can get on to working on some new patterns. Here's a picture of the gift quilt- machine pieced, hand quilted, about 72" square.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


No, it's not Other People's Money; it's something even more exciting to a quilter- Other People's Material. OPM is the next best thing to being given a gift certificate to the LQS (local quilt shop). In some ways it's even better- saves time and gas and that nagging indecision between this chartreuse tone-on-tone or that purple batik.
My first experience with OPM was a packet from a fellow member of an online quilt group. She was clearing out some scrap fabrics and had some Japanese style prints she was willing to part with. My frugal nature couldn't bear the thought of any fabrics going into the landfill, so I said I'd take them. A few days later the package arrived.
We apparently use different dictionaries. I was expecting scraps, as in small pieces, something most quilters would be unlikely to put to use. Her definition of scraps included fat quarters and half-yard pieces - lots of them! I sat on the fabrics for a while before putting them to use- Japanese prints didn't play well with my country calicos and reproduction fabrics. But darned if they didn't keep calling me. Suddenly it clicked. Here was my chance to play outside of the box- to break out of the nicely coordinated fabrics that the quilt police had taught me were necessary to an aesthetically pleasing quilt.
I dug out my very few batik scraps. Did they "go" with the Japanese prints? I thought so. I laid out the fabrics. I arranged and rearranged. I stepped back. I came back later. Finally I decided to take the plunge.
Making the blocks for my Moon Over Mount Fuji was about the most fun I've ever had making a quilt. But then it was time to put the blocks together. I needed sashing and borders. Never having used oriental fabrics I wasn't even sure my LQS carried them. I had something in mind (a small scale, predominately green print to quiet the boldly clashing blocks), but was almost certain my trip would be futile.
I bagged up my blocks and drove to the store. Before Diane could even ask if she could help me, the perfect sashing fabric nearly jumped out at me. From then, it was a simple matter to find the darker green batik border fabric.

My next experience with OPM was quite different- again, the scraps were large pieces of quality fabric, but this time they were flannels in medium to dark solids and subtle prints. The colors were more to my liking, and I had already designed the perfect quilt to showcase them. Ferret Frolic was originally intended as a miniature quilt in two colors plus a subtle hand-dyed background fabric. I had completed the top several years earlier, but never finished the extensive hand quilting. I enlarged the pattern and went to work on it.

I was onto something. If I could only keep those free scraps flowing...
Then I joined a quilt guild. Every month members would donate bags or boxes of unwanted quilt fabrics, patterns, magazines, or what have you. We would hold a Chinese auction to raise money for the guild's coffers. Every month I would dutifully pay my dollar for five tickets. Most months I would win something. One month I hit paydirt! Somehow the cup with my ticket got switched with another cup and I found myself dragging home two huge trash bags of the most gawdawful fabrics I had ever seen. Daisy print double knits rubbed shoulders with scraps from lavender bridesmaid's gowns. Psychedelic prints snuggled against wide wale corduroys. It was a rerun of the Worst Fabrics of the Sixties! As tempting as it was to just leave them in my trunk and drop them at the dump at my earliest convenience, I knew there was a quilt just waiting to be made.
It wasn't long before the opportunity presented itself. Linda M. Poole, listmom of the Fairiegoddessmothers threw down the gauntlet and I rose to the challenge. We were to use Linda's Day Dreamer fairie pattern to create a fairie with a unique persona. Then we were to (gulp!) write a poem about our fairie. Okay, Linda, you asked for it! No sweet and pretty fairie from me. I was going tacky big time! Hey, my fairie now had a name, Tacki. With a name like that it was obvious she had to be a Decorating Diva.
My trash bags provided me with the fabric to make the quilt, but Tacki's room lacked those all-important accessories. I foraged in my Miscellaneous Things I Know I'll Need Someday Box and came out with the perfect fabric for her disco ball, clear plastic for a lava lamp, and those all-important pink feather drapery tiebacks!