Monday, October 16, 2017

From the oven

    I love  to experiment and make recipes  into my own version.  It must be my  background  in biology and chemistry.   I was a Medical Technologist in my earlier life......think laboratory tests and blood  and that was me.

   I found a recipe a few weeks ago for Pumpkin  Cream Cheese Muffins .....here for the original link from Pinterest.    I had a partial can of pumpkin in the freezer, and some left over sweet potatoes, and cream cheese is always around.   It was time for seeing how it would come together.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.   Spray loaf pan with non-stick spray.  I used  2  loaf pans  9'' x 5'' pan.   Original recipe uses muffin tin...see link for those details. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar.
  • Beat in eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps.   Spoon about 1/2  of the mixture into the 2  loaf pans.  
  • In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  • Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the batter.  Spoon the remaining batter over the cream cheese mixture.  Use a knife to swirl thru the layers to blend into a swirl.   
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  •   My original batch was a mix of pumpkin puree and mashed sweet potatoes.   That minor adaptation  turned out great.  The extra loaf went into the freezer for later.   And wouldn't you know the photo did not turn out and now the pumpkin loaf is gone.....lol.   You will have to trust me, it was good.  
      Now I want to try homemade pizza dough....I'll share that one too.  

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    A very scrappy Double 4 Patch

        Several years ago, I saved the instructions for the Double Four Patch quilt that  I found  here at Mary Quilts.    Matter of fact, I have saved lots of her instructions as they are clear, and concise, and easy to print.

      A good variety of layouts for the Double 4 Patch can be found on Pinterest.  Here is the link to my board for some I found.   And there are some very beautiful ones based on color and not scraps.

      Last week I had a question about how to select the fabrics when putting the block units together....randomly select a dark and a light?.......was the actual context.   Answer......Ummmm, yes and no.  I don't really delight in being confusing, but sometimes things are not so cut and dried.


      This is the photo I shared for  my scrappy version.  On the left are 2 patch pieces, obviously dark and light, that are ready to become 4 patch units (paired sets in the center above the clothes pin).

    Then on the right some 4 patch units sewn with large squares above.   Look again at the 4 patch unit that is sewn.  The print squares are  not true dark values, but rather relatively dark because they are placed next to very real/true light squares.






      Searching thru the stack I found a few more blocks/examples to talk about.    First note the variety of the "light" squares......tan, cream, beige background or neutral prints.   There is even one  that has some obvious dark  there on the right.......the major part of it can be called light. 
      I usually think about Bonnie Hunter's standard.......anything lighter than a brown paper bag goes for the neutral.....even with peeks and pops of other colors.   So a couple of the darks in the upper right hand unit are a bit too brown to fit the light spot.   I decided to put them in as a dark fabric value.

         Then look at the lower left corner......I put that print in the dark spot of the arrangement.   Two reasons:
    •  1. Light background but enough of the dark print is showing....over 50%.  That pushed it to the dark slot for me.   
    •  2.  The  use of lower contrast--in this case, the background blends a lot---can give the element of surprise that pleases the eye.    In vintage quilts you often find fabrics arrangement like that.  It could have been luck, but I prefer to think they had a delightful sense of value and design :)

       Dark selection.....easy.  Dark to light, and again note that I throw some neutrals in that have some color to them, although the color is quite faint.   So for strong darks.....yes, use the random selection for a very scrappy look.  



       A very scrappy look, I say.  Guess you need to see what I mean.   
       This is what is on the design wall of the few blocks I put together already.   For my set/layout, I want the darks, big and small parts, moving up and to the right.  All the lights will be set to move to the left.  

      It doesn't look like much yet, but I love the look in real life!  You can get the idea of the unexpected  effect in some of the blocks.  


     
        And now that I have brought more confusion probably to this, I will just go sew a few 4 patches.   Happy stitching.

    Sunday, October 8, 2017

    From quilt show 2017 and QOV

    No automatic alt text available.
    Made by Shelia 

        From the Quilt Show  2017 style!
    I borrowed/stole a couple of photos of friends to share.

       Stained Glass Cathedral Window quilt was 12 years in the making.  This is a close up of part of the big, huge thing!   It has traveled with Shelia, been an ever-present take along project for so many years that she is sad it is finished.  Well, maybe not, because I saw a big grin on her face.  
      Working the Admissions Desk with Sarge was exhausting.  You have to know her to believe how much energy she consumes!  As a man was leaving the show he asked if any quilts were for sale.  There was one he was interested in.  Yep, this one.......Sarge priced it at "OH, about $20,000."    We had to giggle when he thought it was too much.




    No automatic alt text available.
    Made by Susan 
       Now, the story about Sarge.   
    She has grown as a quilter......
    from someone who said she  didn't do scrappy quilts  (afraid to use more than 3 fabrics  in a quilt) to a quilter who can finish  a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt  in style.  Her En Provence is  just beautiful!   









    I have to share these two.....just because:)  One made by Shelia from a workshop I did, and the other by Fannie.  Love them both!



      
      A highlight of the Saturday  at the Quilt show was the covering of 3 veterans by Quilts of Valor.  Word had spread about the ceremony and men began arriving.  







     
      This list of medals and service by this vet was amazing.....he served 3 tours.  



       The words Marietta read for the presentation of the quilts was so touching.  The line that really struck a chord was,  "A Quilt of Valor is the highest award a civilian can give a veteran in recognition of his service."








       The three recipients are here wrapped in their quilts, and flanked by the Honor Guard of SC, who escort  and honor veterans  in events on their motorcycles.  







       I was only able to do a quick tour of the rest of the show.....a bit too crowded for me to do photos....and my knee gave out.  So Susan took the QOV photos for me....thanks.
      Keep stitching. 

    Saturday, October 7, 2017

    Question on value

      I had a comment with a question about how to determine value of fabric.  Since she could not find a Ruby Beholder locally, this commenter bought some red cellophane and tried that instead.    Red cellophane is not exactly the same as a value viewer.  It tends to be mis-leading especially for blue-green and turquoise.  ( Thanks, Linda, for helping with this info:)

      I also use this technique for value determination with a black and white photo.  Turn your photo to B&W and the gray scale will really show the value. 
    Range of floral fabrics

    Same fabrics in B&W gray scale


    I saved this lesson on Value by Karen Combs.   She designed a red/green set of a  Value Viewer and explains how to use it too. 
       One thing I will note on the use of any style value viewer is look through the colored glass.  Once again, look through it.   I had students in class try to lay the tool on the fabric to determine value.  It doesn't work that way.....hold the viewer up to your eyes and look thru it.  

      Another point that Karen makes is that some fabrics may be light or medium to dark....depending on what fabric it is placed next to.    Sometimes value is relative!  With multi-print fabrics it may sometimes be very hard to class them on their own.  It is very helpful to place them on the table or design wall next to each other.....even just overlap them.  Look at them and the determination can be made easier.  

    The last part of the question referred to selecting fabrics for my leader ender project.  I do have some thoughts on that to talk about, but I must hold them till next week.  My brother and growing up big-time nephew just got in, and I want to visit a bit.  Till then, keep stitching.

    Friday, October 6, 2017

    As I mend......

      The knee is better finally after 12 days.....I am walking rather than limping.  The swelling is less, pain is much better, I just am cautious when stepping out or turning/shifting direction.  Today I picked up the knee brace and wore it when we did two errands.  No photo....it is not elegant.  In fact it is ugly/awful  and stiff....but it does help keep the knee stable.

      But on to better things.  I have not done much in the sewing room....sorting and finding things I had set aside.  I was asked yesterday if I was still quilting.  I hated to answer with yes, and no.  But it is truthful.  I am a quilter, just not productive recently.  Pain is the biggest sap to my creativity.    That silent enemy I battle each day.  Like the little train that said, I think I can, I think I can.......I keep pushing and planning.

      I have pinned two tops for quilting....the floral rail fence and the floral scrappy mountains.  These are my main project for the month.....get them quilted.  I can only sit for short periods and have to move around to reduce the stiffness, so it might just take me all month.



       The shopping therapy.......I gave in to the need for more wonder clip things.   The dozen I had just were not  enough.  Instead of the expensive "name" set, I found 100 of them for  much less  on Amazon.  Mixed colors and 2 sizes satisfied that need.

    Notice what they are resting on?



        I  found a set of six fast food trays to use for project trays.  Linda at Art In Search  commented that she was using cafeteria trays for her floral squares/strips.  I loved the idea and broke down and got a set.  I chose the smaller size of 10'' by 14'' fast food size.  If I am using them for floral squares, they stack and fabrics don't slide around.  They have the sides to contain pins, clips, small appliques, etc.



       I set this one up for my leader ender assortment.  This is a very scrappy Double 4 Patch in various stages.  I have about 10 blocks put together and the rest of these parts/piece units.    Instead of putting everything away, I plan on letting the tray next to the machine so I can make progress on this one.

        The guild's Quilt Show is this weekend.  I am slated to sit at the admissions table on Saturday morning.  So I need to bake up some goodies for the  "food room" as Sir Old Man calls it!  That should keep me out of trouble for today.
    Thank you all for checking up on me during my knee rest.
    Keep on stitching.

    Friday, September 29, 2017

    Month's end and Piper's Place quilt

    From simple string blocks.....sewn but not quilted.  The 12 leftover blocks were a perfect size quilt at 30'' by 40'' for Piper's  Place quilt.  She's a Therapy/service dog.....a place quilt lets her know where she should be.






     
       I used all the turquoise strips I had for the binding to finish this one off. 
       Miss Piper, wearing the pink collar, has staked her claim to the string one.   Nick on the upper left is trying to nudge his way onto it too, I see.   Word is, she thinks the size is perfect....can I make another?  Lol, maybe.


      No Physical therapy this week for me ...no evaluation either.  I spent one  day at the doctor, and getting x-rays.  A swollen and very painful knee event brought everything to a limping along halt.   I tried an anti-inflammatory medicine for 3 days....but the stomach reaction has put a stop to that.  I just don't stomach--lol---any meds well.   I am taking ibuprofen instead.  A knee brace is ordered.....ugh.  Some arthritic changes were noted but most likely the pain is from an inflamed bursa  and accumulated fluid.  With ice on the knee and staying down for a couple of days, going out when required in the wheelchair to reduce walking for now......a gentle slide back.  Hard to take, but it is what it is.



        September only had the string quilt finish.....and the floral mountain blocks top, along with a few soup bowl cozies.  Not my best month for completions. 
     

        October.....I want to get this top quilted.  At this point plans are to keep it simple with no border.  Size is 48'' by 56'' as it is. 

      I want to consider a floral strip pieced project.  I have an older tutorial in three parts that you can find here.   This tutorial uses 16 fabrics and makes blocks that end up at 6'' finished.   I want to "grow" the palette to 25 fabrics and  make 7''  finished blocks......and  introduce some variety into the value layout....lots of things to think about. 

      I ran across a quilt that was described as a Blooming Nine patch pattern, but used 4 patch units instead of 9 patch.  Since I am preferring smaller size projects  now just because of the easier handling, this sounded like one I might like to try.  So I am putting this into the Future Ideas list. 

      Cooler temps today.....I think I felt a little crispness in the air!  Looking forward to a cooler weekend as Fall does make an appearance.
    Happy stitching.

    Saturday, September 23, 2017

    Is it Fall?

         The calendar says it is fall!  Time to switch out the wall hanging and such.  I remade the door wreath and added a large bow.   Now, we wait for the temperatures to join in and cool off.


       Good news is  my brother got word his power was back on.  He headed home on Thursday....bad news there was water damage in the apartment, and the AC went out.   No idea how long repairs will take when his turn comes.  Until then.....???     How quickly the storm damage and  residents with damages fade from our view and news.  And then another disaster happens.  








     Finally I am back in the sewing room for a little stitching time.    I am webbing the top together of the floral scrappy mountain blocks.  The first 3 columns are together....and I am taking a short break.













    Image may contain: textThis week is Pernicious Anemia Awareness week.....believe me I am aware :)
       It's been an up and down week or so for me .....a couple of good sessions at PT followed by a bad couple of days and then a poor session on Thursday.  I have an evaluation on next Tuesday.  If I don't have enough improvement, I will not be continuing.  That is the way the health care system is working......you need the therapy  but your  measured numbers don't  show enough improvement and you are gone.   It is kind of funny in a sad way.  I try each day, but the body often does not cooperate.
        But then I never did fit into anyone's box.  Besides I would rather be quilting!  Happy stitching.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...