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Monday, November 30, 2009

Tablecloth Quilted

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

Khachapuri Ossetinski

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

Grand Forks Treasures

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

Bend the Rules with Fabric by Amy Karol

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.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ready to Quilt

I brought the table topper into the house to make sure it would actually fit before I started quilting it. It fits fine. It's a bit hard to see the brown border against the brown floor but there is a 4 inch border all around it. I wouldn't have needed it for the sides but I did for the length. I guess I could have made a few more blocks but now it has a border and I'm happy with that. I also pieced a backing so this afternoon I hope to load it on the frame and get started with the quilting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Refashioned Bags

A review copy of this book arrived in my mailbox yesterday. For a thrifter (Op-shopper for those of you who live down under) and a bagaholic, there couldn't be a more appropriate book. Besides 24 specific bag making projects, they have " handpicked the hottest and most innovative bags made from post-consumer materials (how much better that sounds than used or re-cycled) from around the globe. The designers of these bags contribute their stories, tips on sourcing and their artistic pitfalls and triumphs for your crafty inspiration".
The intriguing bag on the cover is made mostly with zippers. There is one made of old ties, another from bath mats and glue (that would be fun for the beach, if only the temperature here were above zero and we lived less than 3000 miles from the beach), one made from a shower curtain and even one from magazine pages. Some of them are a bit far out for my taste but then I'm not a teenager any more. Some of them are more traditional looking, using jeans, leather jackets or velvet pants. One of my favorites is made from old doilies (there are always tons of them at our local thrift shop and I have dyed a few of them but then didn't know what to do with them. Now I know.) and curtain rings covered with ribbon. Another one uses a glove as a flap. Now I know what to do with that glove that is missing it's mate. Maybe my unmatched sock bag will finally be useful, althoug an old sock might not look as trendy as a nice leather glove. Who knew that a round electrical plug plate could become a trendy purse closure when covered with suede? Don't be at all surprised if you see several new bags showing up on this blog in the near future.
The authors, Faith and Justina Blakeny are sisters and the designers behind Compai, a crafty design studio and eco-clothing label. I'd say this book is well worth buying if you enjoy this sort of craft.


Tikkar is a savory country corn bread from Rajasthan, India. It is a non-yeast dough with chopped onion, ginger, garlic, jalapino and tomato (I had no fresh so I used sun dried) mixed into the dough. It's cooked in a frying pan and ghee is slathered on at the end to crisp it up. It was very, very tasty with Boursin cheese.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I wasn't happy with any of the sashing opitions so I made another series of blocks. The big ones down the middle are 14 inches. The outside ones are 8 inches and the sashing ones are 4 inches. Those are the sizes of my square rulers. I may arrange them from largest to smallest instead of going with the small ones as sashing. I will still have an outside border to make it wide enough. It is pretty busy but it's a scrap quilt so that is allowed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Border Questions

Here are four possible borders for the scrappy tablecloth. Of course, in the end it may be none of the above. I did have a black piece up but it looked too heavy. I may have to try more than one piece of each choice before I can decide.

Give Away

Check Corrie's blog for a great giveaway. Or maybe don't because I'd really love to win 12 fat quarters of that lovely fabric.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scrappy Table Topper

I have a folding table that I use for crafts or extra company. Because of the crafts, it's not very presentable for company. Today I thought I'd make a table cloth the right size for it. It needs a cover about 45x80 inches. I have used lots of scraps, but there are still tons left. I might put a piano key border between the small and large blocks. Or maybe some smaller blocks. Or maybe a black and white print. The options are endless.

Curry Dinner

Here is the dinner I made yesterday. On the right is Fried Cheese and Vegetable Curry (Paneer Kari from India) with Besan Roti which is a chickpea bread on the left. The small dish has the last of the pomegranate and yogurt sauce. I also served a pear chutney that I made when our pears were ripe. For dessert we had Apricot and Almond bread (Kimochdun) from Pakistan. All of these were delicious. Every single recipe that I have tried from this book so far have been wonderful. The downside? We are getting fat from eating so much bread!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ready to Quilt

Here is the 16 patch with 4 inch black borders (sorry they don't show up much on the bed) all ready for backing and quilting. I have to go shopping for backing because I don't have anything that big on hand and don't feel like piecing the backing. I also have to get batting. It is big enough for a queen sized bed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Persian Food

Today I made Pebbled Persian Bread (Hushva Nan) and Pomegranate and Meatball Soup (Ash).
They were both delicious although our first comment on the soup was that the taste was totally unexpected. The broth is made with pomegranate juice. It aso has spinach, rice, parsley and green onions and is soured with lemon juice.
The Nan bread is whole wheat and was a bit tricky to make. I think the dough may have been too soft because it didn't keep the finger marks as it was supposed to but it was still delicious. It is first cooked in a frying pan and then the whole pan is put in the oven under the broiler to finish. I managed not to burn myself but it takes a lot of discipline not to grab the handle of the frying pan when it's on the stove top, forgetting that it just came out of the oven.
I will be making both of these again sometime.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

16 Patch Quilt

This morning before I went of for my weekly thrift run, I sewed the 16 Patch together. It is huge. The design wall is 8x10 and it pretty well fills it up. Therefore, I think I'll only put a black border around it. I wouldn't put a border at all except that the half pinwheels all finish with bias seams so without a border it would stretch all out of shape on the frame. I spent some time re-arranging and then re-re-aranging but finally I just gave up and sewed it together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

16 Patch Quilt

I worked in the studio most of the morning and now I have only two half pinwheels to do and then I can start assembling this monster. It will have to have at least one border because of all the bias edges on the half pinwheels. I'll put on a narrow black one and then see if it needs anything else. I may still do a bit of moving blocks around but every time I move one, I have to move about ten more.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lots Done Today

I thought I should make a few more pinwheels just to give them a chance and I quite liked the look of them when there were enough of them. I have to make three more and move some of them around. It's amazing how you can see value so much better on the computer than in person. I was trying to arrange them so there would be a secondary pattern but was only partly successful. I may have to make some more that turn in opposite direction or else mix them up so they look more random...
Next decision: should the setting triangles be black or the solids that are in the 16 patches? I am thinking of a narrow black border and then left-over squares from the 16 patches for another border and possibly a final black one. I don't want it to get too dark, so the inner border might just be an inch or so wide, mainly to stabilize the bias edges of the setting triangles.

Too Many Choices

Too pale?

Too boring?

I know, too dark. There is a pink and purple block to the left of the pinwheels. Are the pinweels too big? And would somebody come and make them for me. I just remembered that making them drives me crazy, especially if you want them to turn different ways.

A whole different orientation.
What do you think?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Sure...

I'm not sure about either of these options. The top one reads as gray from a distance, which I don't like at all. Up close it looks much better. The brown is one of the sale fabrics I bought yesterday, thinking of backings. Maybe I'll have to dye some different solids . Any ideas out there, other than, why didn't you get the fabric for the big blocks before making the 16 pacthes? Somebody suggested making big 4 patches for the middle blocks. I may try one of those as well.
I also thought of black blocks with stamping or embellishing but discarded that idea. I'd want them to stand out and they probably wouldn't against all those busy, busy 16 patches.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fabric Fix

Today I got my fabric fix. I got three yards of some fabrics that were on sale for $1.99 and also of the two black and whites. I'm hoping one of them will work on my latest quilt. I also couldn't resist buying at least one dotty fabric. I also got an open toe embroidery foot and some extra bobbins for my machine. I picked up my friend, Jenn, and we enjoyed the fabric stores as well as some sushi and a nice coffee on the way home. Now I just hope one of these fabrics works on the dotty quilt.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Something Big

After working on cuffs for so long, I now find myself starting something huge. This is inspired by a quilt in Kaffe Fassett's book Passionate Patchwork
His quilt is done with big florals but I don't have a large stash of florals so I went with dots, which I have been collecting. I still have to find fabric for the solid block that will go between the 16 patches. The one I have up there right now doesn't work for me and I don't have enough of it anyway. Oh my, I guess there will be a trip to the fabric store.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bread Blog?

Today I made Tibetan Barley bread from my new Flatbreads and Flavours cookbook. It just came out of the oven so I haven't tasted it yet, but it smells heavenly. It's made with barley flour that you toast in the frying pan before using. It also has buttermilk in it. How can you go wrong?
No, I haven't changed this into a bread blog but there may be a few more bread pictures soon. I can't wait to try out some more recipes from this wonderful book.
Update: It tastes as good as it looks.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Craft Show

People have been asking how the craft show went. I made expenses and then some but I certainly didn't get rich! I'm pretty happy though because it was fun. I met a lot of people I hadn't seen in ages and got to chat with lots of new people.
Today we are off to Winnipeg to see another art show so that should be fun.
Some of you might be interested in visiting this site of a friend who has become an author.
Sally Gilchrest-Unrau

Friday, November 06, 2009

Craft Table

I got set up for the craft show tomorrow. I will probably arrange the bags a bit better before it opens tomorrow. I'm pretty sure people will be pawing through them anyway so I'm not too stressed about it. I hadn't originally planned on showing quilts but I had quite a few scrap ones so I thought I'd hang them up and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Baking Day

This is the bread just mixed in my new bread pan, ready to rise. I love the bread pan because all the flour is contained, making clean up much easier.

Here it is after rising for an hour, about to be shaped into loaves and baked.

And, fresh out of the oven. Too bad I can't post an aroma!

I made this Sichuan stir fry and peanut sauce to go with the bread shown below. I forgot to take the picture until we had finished eating. Hence the crumbs and messy bowl.

This is Sichuan Pepper Bread made with a recipe from my Flatbreads book. I made the same one on Sunday but this one turned out better. I knew the right temperature for the frying pan this time.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I got this excellent cookbook in the mail a couple of days ago. Every recipe has a story to go with it about where the authors found it and learned how to make it. There are breads from all over the world. I have tried Sichuan Pepper bread with peanut sauce and it was excellent. My son, who lived on this kind of bread when he first went to China, said it tasted quite authentic.

In the same vein, I have wanted one of these bread pans for ages ever since I started baking my own bread. They are as rare as hen's teeth. Today I found two of them in the thrift shop in Winkler. I bought one but the other was still sitting there when I left if there is anyone out there who wants one. I'll be trying it out tomorrow.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Daily Cuff

I can't seem to stop. The burgundy ones are made from a scrap of fabric that has a sort of pleated effect that really looks nice on a cuff.
Yesterday I had the family over for a Halloween/Thanksgiving feast, since we were away on Thanksgiving. We ate until we were stuffed. Some of the girls and I spent time in the studio making cuffs. They are a fun project to do with kids because they are quickly finished. Perfect for a short visit.