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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Baking Day

If you are going to spend a few hours waiting for bread to rise you might as well wait for more than one kind while you are at it. I made two that I have tried previously and liked, Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls and Hazelnut Current Boule. I also tried an Onion Rye bread which I actually started two days ago. Some of these breads require some dedication and planning. I haven't tasted the rye yet but I must say, the house smells divine.

Snow Dyes

Here are a couple of close up shots of the latest snow dye. They are both on the same piece. There is still lots of snow left so I may do a few more.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Murphy's Law

You will use up your last spool of the color you are quilting with on the last pass. Since this is a donation quilt I finished up with a slightly different shade of burgundy rather than wait until I get back to town to purchase another spool of the original color.

The bobbin will run out with only inches left to quilt.

I did manage to finish it. I quilted with a loose meander. I sewed the binding to the back, turned it to the front and sewed it down with a zigzag stitch.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top Pieced and Ready to Quilt

I made some decisions yesterday and this morning I finished piecing this quilt. Iwould have liked to miter the corners of the brown inner border but didn't have enough fabric. I made the top and bottom burgundy borders wider to reach the size that the MCC wants for their donation quilts. I hope to get at the quilting this afternoon. Our lane is still blocked with snow so we aren't going anywhere right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How I Spent My Morning

The MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) is requesting quilts for Haiti. They want 60x80 inch or 82x90 inch sizes. I went through my pile of quilts and found a few that fit those requirements. I had a piece of that dandelion fabric (is it dandelions?) and started putting a new one together. The problem is that so far it's turning out too small. I don't have any more of the flower fabric so I'll have to keep adding borders until it's large enough. Unfortunately I'm also out of the dark green. I think I'll put one more border before the brown but I'll have to go through my stash and see if there is anything of a suitable colour.

I finished quilting Kitty Corner and sewed on the binding. Now I just have to hand sew it down.

I had to piece the back but I really like the look of the strip down the middle.

More Snow

This is the view out our front door. You will notice the door handle at the bottom of the picture . That will give you an idea how deep the snow is. During the weekend snow collected on the roof and slid off onto the deck. Today it's blowing over the house and collecting on the deck. Good thing we use the back door. We'll wait for Mr. Sun to do the shoveling work for us.
It is a perfect day for quilting if I can make it to the studio through this blizzard.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And It's Still Snowing...

And more to come.


I love baking bread (in case you hadn't guessed). This is Hazelnut-Currant Boule from Home Baking by Alford and Duguid.
I have made several recipes from this book and they were all good. We really loved their Tourtiere (meat pie) and the Pugliese Sponge Bread. It is another must-have cookbook.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Love Blocks

I finished a few more blocks for Clare's Leukaemia project. Some of them have a plain strip on the side because they ended up too small. I'm not good at getting accurate 8.5 inch blocks when doing these letters. It's easier with the houses.

And the Winner is...

Congratulations. Your prize will be in the mail as soon as this blizzard is over. Thanks to all who commented and better luck next time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Frosty Fairyland

We have a lot of frost happening right now so I went out to get some pictures.

This is the entry to the stone circle. It looked very beautiful but the snow was more than knee deep.

This one shows how thick the frost is on the branches.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quilts 4 Leukaemia

Here is a block and a half for Clare's Quilts 4 Leukaemia.
I didn't have time to finish the second one today. The biggest challenge is trying to get them to the correct size (8.5 inches). I'm doing better on the second one.


I had never cooked with plantains so I tried this recipe. It is Black Beans and Rice with Fried Plantains. The one in the front is a little dark. I should have removed it before taking the picture. In spite of that it was very tasty.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sewing Machine Magnifier

I have been doing a bit of research on sewing machine magnifiers. They come in all sorts of sizes and prices. Does any one have any experience with any of them? This is the most expensive one but also the largest.

Click to enlargeC.C. Bigger Sewing Machine Magnifier at discount prices! This is the next big thing for sewers and quilters; a sewing machine magnifier that expands the area of focus far beyond others and will not interfere with your sewing. A large 2-1/2x5in magnification field for 12-1/2in square inches of vision! Magnifier clamps securely onto any sewing machine with 2x power magnification; it minimizes sewing machine vibrations with a unique dampener and features a bright LED light with easy-to-reach switch and three button batteries (LR41 or AG3) included. Imported. WRIGHTS 55501020

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087365Retail: $24.99Our Price: $22.99

I found this one at:

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have been quilting away at Kitty Corner today. I particularly like how the shingles turned out on the school.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

To mark my 1000th post I'll be giving away this table runner. Since Valentine's Day is close and this one has sort of Valentine colors I thought it would be appropriate. I may toss in a few bits of hand dyed cloth as well. I'll make the draw from comments on this post, next Saturday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Houses

Today I started quilting Kitty Corner. I am doing the sky in vaguely cloud patterns. This area is not the best example because the design works better in an open area. The snow is loopy and the roofs are stitched to look like shingles. It's fun quilting but involves a lot of thread changes to match the colors of the area I'm working on. The bobbin thread is all black because the backing is black. It will take me a few more days because I can only do a bit at a time before I get sore eyes. I'm thinking I need a magnifier that fits on my sewing machine. I read about one on a blog and need to do some research.

A few more bears have moved into the neighborhood and some trees have grown up overnight. Amazing. The tree on the lower left is fused. The rest are pieced.
I thought this was my 999th post but it turns out it's the 1000th. Stay tuned tomorrow for a give-away.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blue Bear Houses

I found a piece of fabric that has blue bears on it and thought it might be an interesting change after all the cats. Yesterday I sorted my scraps into colors. For this quilt I took out only the red/pink and the blue/green bags. I am trying to think of a more interesting way to arrange them than in rows as I did the last two.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I am working my way through my newest cookbook, Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Alford and Duguid. The main dish was Pork Curry in Aromatic Broth. I also made a Red Onion Sambol and red rice that I bought at the Indian store yesterday. I also bought Papadams, which we love. Dessert was Gujarati Yogurt Pudding with bananas. I was too full to get up and find the camera to get a picture of that.

Ethnic Shopping

Yesterday two of my friends and I went shopping in ethnic grocery stores in Winnipeg. We went to and Indian one, a Chinese one and an African one. These are a few of the spices etc that I bought. The ladies running the stores were so helpful, giving us ideas of how to use some of the ingredients. The Indian lady even offered cooking lessons sometime when we have a day to spare.
We had lunch in a wonderful Indian restaurant (The Clay Oven on Kenaston for those of you who are local) which was one of the best meals I have ever had in a restaurant. Too bad none of us thought of taking a picture before we started eating.
Of course, I had to stop at a fabric store for a few minutes on the way home to get backing for a quilt. It was a really fun day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't You Hate It When...

...this happens when you are binding a quilt.

I started sorting some of my scraps into color piles. I may end up just jamming it all back into a big box.

Friday, January 08, 2010


The sourdough was a complete flop. I think I was too hasty and didn't leave the starter long enough. The bread just sat there and became sticky paste. I tossed it and will try again later. Instead I made these Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls. They are a beautiful golden color from the sweet potatoes, slightly sweet and very, very tasty. I'll be making them again for sure.
On the quilting front, I am working away on the Stack a Deck on that is on the frame, so nothing interesting to post there.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Post Number 994

I am trying to make sourdough bread. I have to say that, although it looks fine, it smells terrible. The problem is that I'm not sure how it should smell. Like rotten old socks? Like mouldy flour paste? Hmm....

Here is the back of the purple table runner all quilted. Now I need to make some binding and attach it.
This is post number 994 so I suppose I should start thinking about a prize draw for the 1000th. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I decided that I would stitch in the ditch on this one so I'll be doing it on my regular machine. That means it needs to be pinned so I did that this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll be ready to quilt this one as well as the Stack a Deck that is on the frame.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Stack a Deck

This Stack a Deck quilt from Karla Alexander's book has been waiting for ages for its turn on the quilting machine. I got it loaded this morning but haven't decided how I want to quilt it or what color of thread I'll use. The back is white with black circles so it will probably be black or white. I think it's time to move beyond my usual meander or loops but to what? I'll think on it for a bit before I start quilting.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sewing Again

I put together this table runner to try a technique I saw online using a tube of three colors to make the blocks. It worked amazingly well. Now I have to find some backing and quilt it. It is about 75x50 so I might just stitch in the ditch on my regular machine rather than loading it up on the frame.
The instructions for this block can be found at: Tube Quilting on Utube.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Fennel-Flecked Potato Samosas

Filled and drying a bit before deep frying.

On the plate with cucumber riata and cucumbers soaked in vinegar.

Here is the delicious potato filling. The recipe can be found in Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, my favorite cookbook authors. This book consists of recipes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc.