May 23, 2012

Quilt Progress

I've been really busy lately, which I will fill you in on later, but for now I will just say that I am working away on the baby quilt.

The weather in Buffalo is starting to get warmer and warmer. This happens every spring here. We have cold and rainy weather in which you don't want to go outside and work in your garden, and then we go straight to 85 and humid weather in which you don't want to go outside and work in your garden. Then it's so dry that your soil turns into concrete.

I know this hot weather is just around the corner and when it comes I don't want to be sewing and having a hot machine in my dining room and I also will not want a quilt touching my body. Also, the baby shower for Ron's niece is on June 30th so I need to hustle here.

So far, I have finished 6 squares out of 9.

 The 7th is nearly done and then there will be two left. I'm guessing I need to pink the seams so they don't fray. It's too late to zig-zag them since I sewed some of them down when I attched the pieces together. Then I will press them and call my sister to ask her what's next. Lol!

Even though it was really too hot to work out in the yard last weekend, I did anyhow since I'm sick of the gardens looking like this...

...and this.

You can barely tell where the plants end and the weeds begin. OR, where the garden ends and the grass begins, for that matter.

So I took out my garden tools and started working the dirt (I can't call it soil), pulled as many weeds as I could and moved the rocks to get weeds and grass out from under and around them.

I got half done. Now I need to dig up all those daylillies and divide them. But, alas, I cannot do that this week because as I was walking around the garden giving it a good look-over, I tripped on a garden tool and fell on my arm. My right one, of course, since I'm right handed. I think I tore a muscle or something because now it hurts like hell. Yesterday I swatted at a fly with it and I saw stars. I don't know what to do about it, so I'm taking it easy.

The good news is, I have a few iris that bloomed out of the weeds.

And, due to that crazy warm weather we had in March, my peonies are HUGE.

I have never seen them this big before, nor have I seen them ready to bloom so early. They usually aren't ready until mid-late June. I can't wait til they open, it's my most favorite fragrance in the world.

Have a great day!!

May 6, 2012

How I Am Attempting To Make A Quilt

Since I have never made a quilt before and my sister cannot possibly sit with me the entire time to figure it all out, I am winging it.
I will show you my mad method that I came up with to make this project.

Since I only had a bad cell phone picture of the quilt I was trying to duplicate, I had to guess at the pattern and size of the pieces.

First off, I estimated the quilt to be 3 foot square in size. I looked at the photo I had and looked for repetition in the pieces. After a time, I came up with this pattern above as the basis of a 12 inch square.

I then took that square and rotated it eight times to have a pattern of nine 12 inch squares in different directions.

I broke it down into pattern pieces and cut them out of graph paper. I gave each piece a letter to identify it.

Then each fabric was given a number so I could keep track of which fabric is used for each piece in each square.

I didn't pin the pieces to the fabric and cut with scissors like you normally do with patterns. Since it was all straight sides I put it on the cutting mat and used the rotary cutter. I put the graph paper pattern pieces on top of the fabric as I moved my yardstick around to make sure I was cutting the right size, then I held the yardstick down as a guide to cut a straight line. (I got into this cutting thing so much that I cut straight through the mat in into my table :(.  )

I gave each 12 inch square a number and as I cut the pieces of fabric, I piled them up together and identified them with their square's number.

Periodically, I would lay out all the pieces so I could make sure I liked the position of the fabrics and also to be sure it was random enough to spread fabrics out away from themselves.

It is all cut out and the next step is sewing it all together.
I hope you understand my rambling directions. For my first attempt at this, I probably should have just done squares. But I never like to settle for sanity. :)

May 3, 2012

Annoying Chair Refinishing Part Three

I just wanted to update you on the chair project.

My dad decided the chair dilemma and the chairs went off to the refinisher for $35 each.

He said he would pay for it, but I will slip some money to him somehow. He said that after we let them dry last time, they couldn't even be sanded smooth. They were not even paintable. I should have just painted them in the first place.

So now, I have to pick a stain color and get to it.

I also have to pick a fabric for the seats. I think I will pick something neutral and light in color and then make a bunch of slip covers to go over them. I am a seasonal decorator so I will definitely want to change the look for seasons and holidays.

More on this later when I get stain and get to my dad's to get these chairs done. I'm so excited!

May 2, 2012

Banana Chocolate Tea Bread

Every week I buy bananas for my breakfast. But for some reason, they go brown so quickly, I can't use them all before they are too mushy for my taste.

So, today I used them to make a delicious bread.

~Banana Chocolate Tea Bread~

This bread is so delicious. My friend Maria gave me the recipe. It's the kind of bread that makes you have to decide if you should have one huge thick slice or two thin ones. ;)

It has chocolate chips and nuts in it, making it so delightful.

Thought you might like the recipe.

Banana Chocolate Tea Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cups chopped nuts (of your choice)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Beat first 4 ingredients on medium speed then add the next 5 ingredients.

2. Fold in the next 4 ingredients and stir with a spoon.

3. Pour mixture in greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan to baking rack to cool further.

I hope you enjoy it!