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Thursday, December 31, 2009
Four of my friends and I decided to put together a Mezze meal all using the same cookbook, Flatbreads and Flavors by Alford and Duguid. We met and chose recipes a couple of days ago and last night they all came with their husbands to our house to eat and eat and eat. It may just have been the best meal I ever had the pleasure of eating. The food was all Middle Eastern which made for healthy eating (maybe we ate a tad too much though) and unusual flavours. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again in a couple of months with Indian food as the theme. (Is it conincidence that I have used the verb eat six times in this post?)
Monday, December 28, 2009
This morning the sunrise was amazing. There were very strong sundogs on each side of the sun. We usually only see sundogs when it is extremely cold but today is relatively mild. It must be moisture in the air or maybe fine snow. Whatever the cause, it's beautiful. There is a bit of a reflection from the door in the middle left area that has nothing to do with the sunrise. My day is already made!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It takes quite a lot of commitment to go to the studio to sew these days. Luckily, it's not fiercely cold as well as knee deep with snow. The temperature is only -9 and the wind has dropped. The storm warning is over so we may be able to get out of the yard tomorrow.
Here's what I worked on once I got to the studio. It's all ready for the batting and backing now. I'll use it to practise with my new Janome open toe foot.
Still wish you were here. The boys could shovel the deck! I admit it. I took this one from a low angle. It's only waist deep at the highest part of the drift.
Here it is from outside. I had a hard time making it to the studio. The snow is well over knee deep most of the way. Time to break out the snowshoes.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It's looking a lot like Christmas this morning. The trees are covered with a thick layer of white frost.
This is our studio as seen from the back deck. I may take a walk later to try to get more pictures if the frost is still there when we get back from the thrift shops. I do have my priorities!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Here is the foot that came with the machine. It's very difficult to see what you are doing throught that plastic. Also, occasionally it seems to twist a bit and then I break a needle on the plastic. Not good at all for the machine or my quilting project.
Here is the new foot installed. I tried it out and it works great. I can see where I am going and it seems to run smoother because there is less area touching the quilt. In front I am holding the quarter inch foot. It slides along the edge of a ruler or template. I haven't tried it yet since I don't have any thick templates. I don't want to use a regular ruler (which is made of thinner plexiglass than templates) in case it jumps off the edge and sews my fingers. This machine is very strong and fast. It could easily put a needle through fingernail and bone so I'm taking no chances.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Today when I picked up the mail these two feet for my quilting machine were there. I ordered them through a store in Winnipeg and they called a couple of days ago to ask if I wanted them mailed out. I said yes thinking I'd have to wait until some time next week. I couldn't believe they came so fast. They are made by Janome but apparently will fit my Pfaff machine. My first order of business tomorrow will be to try them out. I am particularly interested in the quarter inch foot that will allow me to use thick rulers and long-arm templates. I may have to invest in a table to fit around my machine though. It never ends does it..
Friday, December 18, 2009
I got Kitty Corner sewn together and all ready to quilt today. I may have to buy some backing and batting. It's quite large, about 46x60 so I probably don't have enough scraps. The border is the left over from the backing I put on the 16 patch. If there isn't enough left I may wait until I go back to Grand Forks and get another piece of it. I think it would be nice to have the back match the borders.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The new town planner was hard at work today. The houses are sewn into rows but the rows are not sewn together. I may do some more arranging yet. I am thinking of leaving off "Winter At" because that is pretty obvious. I also think it looks better with only the two words.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This morning I made a skating rink for Kitty Corner. Every Canadian small town has a skating rink. I should probably make a curling rink too but I'm not sure how large I want this town to become.
Here is the town with the rink so you can see the scale.
And in this news break, my application for Kitty Corner town planner was accepted so now it's official. I am the new town planner. I hope I am up to the job. I did have to lie about my previous experience but luckily, they didn't check very closely.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Here is the Kitty Corner Store. Every village needs a Corner Store.
Here is the school which is right beside the store at the moment. That may change. The flag is not finished. I was trying to see what size looked best. Thank goodness the Canadian flag is very simple because I didn't find a small one today so it looks like I'll be making one.
Here is the whole village so far. My favorite house might be the one in the top row, second from the left. That fabric looks exactly like a log cabin.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This was our supper tonight from Beyond the Great Wall , one of my favorite cookbooks. I made Home-style Tajik Nan bread and Delectable Deep-fried Pork Tenderloin. The pork is dipped in a rice flour mixture before being fried. Then you sprinkle on Tribal Pepper-Salt (pepper, salt and Sichuan pepper ground together) and add a squeeze of lime. It tasted quite amazing. It smelled too good to take a long time arranging the plate. In fact I had already started eating when I remembered that I wanted a picture.
Here is the Nan bread just out of the oven. It raises for a long time and has yogurt in it. It is one of the most tender breads I have ever made.
I tried to get it cooking on my pizza stone in the oven but the camera lens kept steaming up, so this was the best I could get. Too bad I can't add aroma to this post.
Friday, December 11, 2009
These are Momos from Tibet. They have a mixture of feta cheese and green onions inside and are deep fried. I'm sure they should have yak cheese to be really authentic but they didn't have any at my local grocery store. What's not to like about deep fried and cheese? The recipe is from Beyond the Great Wall by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, two of my favorite cookbook authors.
Here is the first arrangement of Kitty Corner. I think I might make in narrower and longer. I'm not sure about the arrangement of the words either. I may put Winter At on the top and Kitty Corner at the bottom. The black border is also much too wide but I wanted to see how that fabric, which is left-over backing from the 16 patch, would look.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I am debating the idea of a red border between the houses and the words. I am also wondering if there should be something between the rows of houses, or should I make them all face a center square? I'll make a few more and try that. Now I'm wishing I had used all the same snow fabric. Maybe there are two or three quilts here...
This is my 970th post. I'll soon have to start thinking of a blog draw to celebrate 1000. Time flies when you are having fun!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Today I made some words for Kitty Corner. I ran out of the fabric behind winter and at. I am pretty sure I have more of it but I just can't find it so I made Kitty with a different background. I still have to make Corner. I am a bit at a loss as to how to arrange the houses. If I make two rows it looks a bit odd to have snow, sky and then more snow. I have previously done some houses in a square with writing in the middle. Or with a dark line between the rows of houses as I did on the last Kitty Corner.
I want the words to go around the corner (kitty corner) on this one so having the words in the middle is not really an option. If I put the houses in a square what would I put in the middle? Should Winter At be on the bottom or does it look better going around the corner. Maybe it will be more clear once Corner is done.
Is that too many questions?
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I finished quilting the 16 Patch today and now I have a mile of binding to hand sew. I hate doing black on black. You can't see what you are doing. The good thing is that nobody can see the quality of the stitching either.
Here is the craft table before.
And here it is after, with the table topper on it. I want to get some clear plastic to put over it so I won't have to wash it so often.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Here is an ugly repair job. Plus there were four of them to do. Both of us have worn holes in the heels of our snow boot liners. I thought I'd try to repair them before investing a lot of money in new ones. I stuffed each hole with wool batting and then glued on a leather patch.
It looks a lot better now but it all depends on the strength of the fabric glue I used. I had to put a patch on the inside of two of the liners because they were worn right through. I don't have high hopes of those patches staying on.
For my own pleasure I made a few more kitty houses. I will make words saying Kitty Corner Winter or Kitty Corner in Winter or Winter at Kitty Corner. I'm not sure what color the words will be but I think I'll use the swirly dots for the background. I made all the windows bright yellow to give a feeling of warmth and homeyness. I like to imagine that there is hot chocolate or eggnog brewing in each of the houses.
Friday, December 04, 2009
This afternoon I made another pillow. I'm not totally happy with this one. I love the stripy fabric but I only had a bit left that was cut on the bias for binding. It sort of ruffles and doesn't make really nice mitred corners but the color was so perfect that I went with it anyway.
I've started another Kitty Corner wall hanging. This one is going to be all winter with white fabric on the bottom to indicate snow. I love the swirly one. Who would have thought that fabric would look like snow! I have a red house with a neat black roof half done. I plan to make quite a few more so I'll have a village.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Or in English, Curry. Paneer is a sort of cottage cheese made by adding lemon to hot milk until it curdles and then draining and pressing it into a firm cheese. It only takes a couple of hours and the cheese doesn't crumble when fried. It has a masala spice flavouring and yogurt in the sauce. Verdict-delicious. I didn't have time to make chapatis so we will eat it with Tibetan Barley bread.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I started quilting the 16 patch this afternoon. I'm doing a random loopy pattern but it doesn't show up very well in the photo.
This is the first in a series of pillows from Asian fabric from Jo-Ann fabrics. I have the second one almost done but I need a pink zipper so I'll have to go shopping tomororw.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Today I quilted the tablecloth so now I only have to bind it. I quilted it with an all over meander. Not very adventurous I know but the piecing is so busy that the quilting pretty much disappears. Hopefully, I'll get it bound tomorrow.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
That is, Potato-and-Herb-Filled Bread from Georgia (Causasus not USA). We are having a bit of a Grey Cup party (football for non-Canadians) so I pulled out the flatbread cookbook again. I am going to try Vietnamese spring roll wrappers but those will be cooked at the last minute. There will be pictures if they turn out ok and if I don't forget in the heat of the moment. They are cooked something like crepes so it could be a bit frenzied when I start cooking them. With them there will be skewered Vietnamese beef and fresh veggies. I'm not very interested in football but I am very interested in food. Should be fun.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Here are the treasures I got at Jo-Ann Fabrics in Grand Forks. The two large flower prints are extra wide for backing. The fat quarters were 79cents each. They were pretty picked over but I basically took one of each that was left. The dark at the top is more yardage of some fabric I already have and love.
I also got a great deal on a ceramic lined non-stick frying pan but neglected to take a picture of it. It was a fun day and the people at both border crossings couldn't have been nicer. We'll have to do that again sometime soon.
Friday, November 27, 2009
If there's anything I enjoy about sewing, it's bending the rules so this book is right up my alley. Also, lately I have been interested in stamping, dyeing and painting on fabric and that is exactly what this book is all about. It is aimed at the novice so there is quite a comprehensive section on design elements, materials and even ideas on setting up your work space.
The first projects use paint with brushes, stamps and stencils. If you are not confident in your drawing skills, one idea is to paint on toile. That way the drawing is already done for you.
Chapter 4 deals with computer transfers and mixed media on fabric. I have yet to try computer transfers but when I do want to give it a try, this chapter will lead me step by step. One very cute idea is making dolls with photo transfers of the faces. Who wouldn't want a doll with their own face on it? Or a baby pillow with the baby's picture on it...
The next chapter is all about dyeing including dye painting, using a resist and using a bleach pen. The project I like best is the whole-cloth quilt. I don't suppose that is much of a surprise.
The last chapter is all about applying yarn, thread and appliques to your projects. My favorite idea was thread drawing children's drawings onto their clothes.
She includes templates for the projects she has illustrated and a page you can copy to make note-taking easier.
If you want to bend the rules a bit and love fabric, this is the book for you.