Monday, March 31, 2014

quilt display for middle school students

Back in late January, our county extension agent asked for volunteers to display their quilts for a class of middle school students. These students had been doing a unit on quilts and the history of quilting.

The students were to interview several of us quilters, asking some questions they had prepared ahead of time.

We set up our display in the school library...

Some brought antique quilts or family quilts...

Some brought their first quilt...

A quilt made for a grandchild...

I brought this quilt I had just finished...

I look pretty mean, don't I ? I believe I was giving some serious thought to a question I had just been asked...but I need to quit looking like that!

Oh and that is the teacher on the left in the pic above...not a "held back" student!

One last quilt pic..

It was a fun thing to do and the students had some really good questions. 
The extension agent invited us back a few weeks later to assist in teaching the students to make a simple nine patch lap quilt. It would have been so fun but I had another commitment on the day of the class.
Maybe next time?

Friday, March 28, 2014

what did I get myself into ?

My quilting group at the extension office, volunteers every year to make some centerpieces for the tables at the "Go Red for Women Luncheon"  sponsored by the American Heart Association.

The way it works is that we are given this small wire dress form and we are to create a mostly red dress to put on it.

It's not as difficult as you might imagine because the dress never has to be taken back off of the you can use glue or use stitches, whatever...just so it looks finished from all angles. They encourage you to be creative with your materials.
Here is some stuff I dug out to possibly work with...including an old velvety Christmas tree skirt I made years ago. I did go ahead and buy 1/4 yard of red satin at w-mart though.

I ended up using the satin. I used the pink netting as an underliner that holds up the hem of the skirt and also gives it a little body. I cinched it around the waist of the wire form and sewed it right on  to the wire.

Next I tried wrapping the wired (thats wired not weird) blue ribbon in different ways. I couldn't get it to look right with straps but I was able to fancy it up a little with a big bow in back. Tacked this part to the skirt and also to the wire.

And a side view...she is very slim and shapely!

I have already turned this in at the extension,looking at the pictures I wish I had made a little bead necklace or something. She looks a little bare at the top.

I hope to have photos of all the dresses made by our group at some point. I'll add them later.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring has sprung? Maybe not yet.

Spring has sprung.
The grass has riz.
 I wonder where the flowers is?

Oh , here are a few!

Just these and a few of the same out front are only things blooming so far.

Last spring my daffodils just wilted and baked when we had high temperatures early in the year.  Maybe they will last a little longer this year.

Lonnie has determined it is time to get some garden seeds started indoors.
There are 5 tomato seeds planted...Better Boys ...and 6 green pepper plants.

We have a few seeds to plant outside when we finish getting dirt in our new raised garden beds. Lonnie is going to try planting green onions  and I have some kale and also sugar snap peas to plant. All these are cool weather crops that can be planted in March and April.
Oh, and I have some beet seeds left from last year to plant also.


Need to get those planting beds ready!

...or maybe not...more snow flurries!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

finished the quilt!

Finished the quilting and sewed the binding on the Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilt.

I do my binding completely by machine. First sew it to the back...

Then fold to the front and sew. Sometimes I use a zig zag stitch but this time I used a straight stitch....

I took the finished quilt outside for it's photo shoot.

I need to figure our what is making my edges ripple. I think either I am stretching too much when sewing on  the binding or the walking foot is gathering up too much fabric.

One more photo to show the quilting stipple...

Got it labeled and delivered to the recipient, my uncle, who has faced some serious health problems in the past few months. Not a good time to give a quilt -  with warm weather around the corner...but made it in time for his March birthday anyway.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mini Meatballs in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This was Sunday dinner. It is a recipe I have been making for years. The whole family likes it. It originally came from a fund raising cookbook someone gave me as a gift.

Mini Meatballs in Sweet And Sour Sauce

3 lbs. ground beef
1/3 cup minced onion
3/4 cup milk
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1  1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/2 t pepper
1 t salt
3 eggs

Mix these ingredients well. Shape into 1" balls.
Place on a foil lined pan and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes.

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 T soy sauce

2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 T olive oil

Mix 1 cup water,sugar,vinegar and soy sauce in a pan. Heat to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to simmer.

Mix cornstarch in 1/4 cup water. Add to simmering mixture and stir until thickened. Add oil and salt to taste.

Pour sauce over  Meatballs and serve.

I like to double or triple the sauce ingredients so the meatballs are swimming in sauce, then serve it over Jasmine rice.

Tastes as good or better as leftovers ...but the sauce will break down  after about 3 days in the fridge.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

come a little closer,deer

We see deer out back pretty often but it's hard to get a picture of one. They are watching up this way and they see any movement at the window.

These two were sort of playing and dashing around for awhile but it was impossible to get a decent photo when they were moving. They finally settled down to graze a little.

 Wait! See that head poking out from behind the tree. There are actually 3 of them.

Here they are.


They are hardly ever closer than this, except maybe at night when they come up to chomp on my flowers in the summertime.

Friday, March 21, 2014

a nice dinner out

Lonnie's son was up from Florida last week. He invited us for a steak dinner at a very nice restaurant.

It turns out that he has never used the gift cards that Lonnie has been giving him for Christmas to this place for the last 4 years!  Well that's okay, we were glad to help him out in using them.

Here is my handsome dinner date.

Their portions are huge so Lonnie and I split a salad and a baked potato. But we each ordered our own filet.
It is the best steak you could ever eat.

After dinner we went out on the terrace and took some pictures.

Lonnie and Chris...

Lonnie and me...I was so excited to eat here I curled my hair!

A view from the top! It was a lovely evening and a very nice meal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

monkey bread

This is good thing to bake for overnight guests or those that arrive before lunchtime. You have to know ahead of time though, because you get started the night before.

Spray a  tube pan with nonstick spray. If you like chopped nuts put them in next.
Layer frozen roll dough in the pan ( I use the Kroger brand frozen dinner rolls-about 20 of them).
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1t.  Cinnamon
2 T butterscotch pudding  dry mix ( the kind you cook, not instant)

Sprinkle this mixture over dough. It looks like way too much but it isn't.

Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour over all.

Cover with foil and let set at room temperature overnight.

Remove the foil in the morning and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes...or until they sound sort of hollow when you tap them with your finger. if they start getting too brown on top before they are done, just lay the foil over the top.

Out of the oven....

Let cool about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen. Turn upside down on a large plate...carefully!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

more work on Scrappy Mountain Majesties

This quilt seems to be coming together without any major problems.

Had a minor problem when I was spreading out my batting on the floor (like you might spread a blanket on the ground for a picnic).

I took a step forward just as I was lifting the batting ...of course I stepped right on it and pulled out a plug. It looks bad but is easily repaired.

Got it layered then used the kitchen peninsula to safety pin the layers together.

I am trying something different...this flannel for the back. Usually I use cotton.

Check out those cute weiner dogs! 

Now to the machine to quilt a stipple pattern.  The flannel back was no problem to work with. Pretty linty though. I will have to give my machine a good cleaning when I get this finished.

It is much lighter in the room than it looks in the photos. The work is going pretty quickly!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quilters Day Out

This past Saturday was Quilters Day Out.  In Louisville, the local quilt guilds observe National Quilting Day by gathering for this event. Each guild sets up a booth to showcase their member's work and also may do demonstrations or hand out a simple pattern,etc.

Also, vendors come to set up booths to sell fabric, thread, machines and more.

This is the booth for the group I belong to;  Mt Washington Quilting Bees (before opening hours).

The quilt on the left  and also the large quilt with tan borders hanging near the center, are quilts we have made for charities. Members make blocks then they are joined together and quilted.

Another view of our booth and our "Quilt Hole" game (on the right).

I  used an unfinished quilt top to cover a bag toss game board. We allowed each guest to choose a fat quarter (a folded quarter yard of fabric) and toss in to the hole. If it went in they got to keep the fabric.
It was fun and the ladies were tickled when they won.

Guess who got to bend over and pick up all the tossed fat quarters? 
I didn't mind...really preferred that over just sitting there all day.

Monday, March 17, 2014

enough with the snow, already!

More nasty weather Sunday. Sleet and rain in the afternoon...finally turning to a light snow in the evening.

I think we are all ready to see the last of this kind of weather.

A good evening to finish my entry for our library "Art Fest" contest. The theme was "Women's History Month".    It had to be 8x10 inches or less.

This is drawn on muslin..colored with crayons..and the quilt is tacked on for a three dimensional effect. I had a little trouble getting her hands on TOP of the quilt...finally used some stiff interfacing.
In her "thought bubble", she is remembering where each piece of fabric in her quilt originally came from..old clothes,etc.

My friend, who works at the library, said she was worried they wouldn't have many entries since it is a new program. It sounded sort of fun so I told her I would figure out something to enter. 
 When I showed it to Lonnie , he said.." Why is there a dinosaur walking out from under the quilt?".   Humph! It's not. Just so you know - that is the back end of a cat, walking forward underneath the quilt.

So much for my artistic abilities, I guess.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

turkey and noodles

Earlier this week we had summer like weather one day then the next day temperatures were plummeting all day and into the teens overnight.

I took the opportunity to make one of our cold weather favorite foods...noodles with turkey.     ( chicken or beef works well too)

First make the noodles...

2 1/4 cups flour
1 t.  salt
1 T oil
3 eggs
1T water...or more as needed.

Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add other ingredients. Mix and then knead for 4 minutes, adding water as necessary to make a firm ball of dough.

I do this in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and only mix for a couple of minutes since it mixes much quicker than hand mixing.

The original recipe said to let dough rest in the fridge for and hour -but I just skip that part.

With a rolling pin, roll dough very thin on a floured surface. This takes some elbow grease because the dough wants to snap back together when you roll it out.

Cut dough in strips then crosscut into 3-4" pieces.

There is no award for perfect sizes so don't worry too much about that.

The noodles need to dry out a little, so while that is happening you can get your broth started. I like to use onions, celery and carrots. I am a little embarrassed to tell you that the little container of chopped turkey on the left is the last of our 2013 Thanksgiving turkey.

Saute the veggies until soft or even a little browned. Then add chicken broth and/or soup base, chopped turkey, salt ,pepper, parsley...whatever spices you like.

You will need quite a bit of liquid because the noodles are going to soak it up.  Let the broth come to a low boil then you can begin dropping your noodles in. Drop a few at a time all around in the pot.

When the noodles are all in you can stir a little by pushing gently with the back of a spoon. Let the broth return to a low boil then reduce heat until it is a gentle simmer. 
Cover and cook until noodles are no longer doughy..maybe 30 minutes to an hour or longer...depending on how thin you got 'em. You don't need to stir very often...don' t break up your noodles. Add more broth if you need to.


Just right!