Saturday, March 24, 2012

slowly spring

Last Saturday was the annual sale at the local quilt store.  I just had to go, natch.  I told my Mom that I don't know what I was expecting -  a marching band and banners or something?  I was a little disappointed.  I know I was expecting everything to be on sale, and I'm not sure where I even got that idea because they never said ahead of time what the sale was.  Anyhoo, I didn't leave empty handed.  They had bolts on sale for 60% if you could find one with a red star stamp on the top.  I found a couple that I thought would mix in with stuff well, it was a 1 yard minimum on those so I'm set if I need orange or yellow :)
Everything else was a half yard minimum that day so I picked a couple other prints that I really love, and the Christmas is a fat quarter that was precut. I'm not allowed to start anything new yet, but when I do I'm sure these prints will be part of it!
The one thing I did make last week, which I didn't get a picture of for some reason (!) was a mug rug that I mailed off with my embroidery for the Wild Olive Stitch Swap. Here's Rocky, who likes to hang out under my sewing table whilst I'm in the craft house. Sorry about the mess, but bits of fabric and whatnot just find their way onto the floor somehow :) I'm pretty sure I'm not alone there!sweet Rocky
And, do you want to see what the first day of Spring looked like here? LOL you're going to love it:
first day of spring
You can see Rocky running along the fence behind the chair :) The day before was clear, cold, but clear. Then there was all this snow over night! And, then by the end of the day ALL of it had melted off! You just never know around here what you'll wake up to!
In other news, I finished the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series called Mockingjay. It was really good, as were the other 2 in the series. I liked how it ended although there was one relationship that didn't quite have the closure I would have expected even though it did make sense. I was hoping that she would end up with who she ended up with, so that was nice :) Tomorrow Jan and I are going to see the movie! I'm really hoping it's good. I'm wondering how they are going to do certain scenes! I think that's part of the fun of reading a book before the movie, you know how you picture things in your head and then to see someone else's interpretation....
I am going to start quilting the granny squares quilt today, it's all pinned up in a quilt sandwich waiting for me! What is everyone else up to this weekend??

Sunday, March 18, 2012

almost spring

Yikes, this is a long post!  Okay, so I finished the granny square quilt top last weekend, here it is:

and here's my attempt at an artsy angle *grin*
It was a blustery day and kind of shadowy in the back yard, so I didn't get great pics, but you get the idea.  So I added a thin border of more scraps.  If you remember, my Mom gave me a giant bag of scraps this last Fall I think it was and there were a lot of long thing pieces that sort of made me think they were binding extras.  So I trimmed down a bunch to 1.5" and then just randomly put them together in long strips.  I like the way it turned out.  I wasn't sure at first, but once I got it all put together then it kind of made the center even more colorful, if that's possible?  I do have the back sewn together but just haven't quite had the ooompf to tape it all down to the floor and pin it together.  I have linked up with the Stitched in Color Festival of Scrapiness
In other crafting news I joined an embroidery swap, I think I mentioned it previously.  It took me awhile to think of something I'd like to stitch up.  I have to admit I was completely intimidated by the work others have done that are also participating.  I thought of doing a pattern....but then I felt like it wouldn't really represent me.  I don't know, maybe that sounds pretentious or something and I don't mean it that way.  Anyway, I started doodling, and came up with this:
bunny embroidery
I bought some stickers last weekend that had little bunnies and also some pinwheels and then I thought, what if there was a happy little bunny holding a pinwheel?  I like to think of little stories as I stitch things and so I had fun putting this together.  I also now have in mind to recreate my bunny painting wreath into an embroidery.  And, when it's something for me then I won't feel badly making the bunny a fun color like lime green :)  heee, heee.  I also stiched up a mug rug to put along with this, I'm going to redo the binding because I feel like it came out too thick.  I hope she likes it!
I'm also working on a knitting project, a knitted bunny.  So far I have the body and 2 legs.  Once it's done I'm going to knit it a sweater, because you know how bunnies need sweaters right?  lol.  Oh yes, here is a pic of the fabric I picked up last weekend.
The stripey one is going to be the binding for the granny squares quilt, which I think is kind of perfect. All those colors. Also the stripe is on the bias and since I like to do a bias binding the stripe will come out well on the fold.
In other news, I finished the 2nd book in the Hunger Games series which is called Catching Fire.  I really liked it.  While in Barnes and Noble last weekend I read the end of the third book.  I've been on the waiting list at the library and couldn't stand it anymore!  I had to know how it all ends!  LOL I know this makes a lot of people crazy that I read the ends of things, but I can't help it and I will still read it :)
Today I made banana bread, and man it turned out GOOD!  This is my first time making banana bread, shocking I know.  I've made tons of zucchini, squash, pumpkin and even persimmon bread.  It's the same recipe except with 2 cups of banana.

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup oil (or can sub applesauce or crushed pineapple)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups bananas (or whatever like zucchini, pumpkin puree.....)
walnuts are optional, it's also fun to add stuff like raisins, shredded coconut, cranberries

I put all the dry ingredients up till the nutmeg in one bowl and mix it all around.  In another bowl I add everything from the eggs down.  Before adding the bananas I mix everything with a handheld mixer, then slowly add in the banana and mix with the mixer.  This is very tricky when using shredded zucchini and I don't recommend mixing with zucchini, but do mix before zucchini.  Once that's all mixed together and nice and smooth add in the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  I spray two glass bread pans with nonstick spray and then divide the contents of bowl between the two pans.  Bake at 350 for approximately an hour.  I usually start checking on it about 45-50 minutes.  You don't want to over bake.  Cool on wire racks.

mmm, delish!  This is like the easiest recipe.  You can also sub sugar for 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup honey if you want to try that.  Or sub margarine for oil.  Basically I play around with things a lot and so far haven't gotten anything grody.

Hope you have a great week!  Tuesday is the first day of Spring!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

blah blah

Just checking in to let you know I'm still around.  I've had a very annoying cold that has just wiped me out!  I have just been soooo exhausted.  Rest assured that I have still been sewing in small increments of time....I just don't have anything exciting to show yet.  Yesterday I drove over to Medford and spent the day shopping, something I don't normally do.  But, the weather was nice and a road trip beckoned.  There's a store over there that I could definitely spend waayyy too much money in, Craft Warehouse.  It's got fabric, moda quilting cotton variety, it's got scrapbooking, beads, yummy candles, and TONS of ideas, there was even the mesh I wanted to try for wreaths.  I was very restrained because I didn't have a focus of project, or color so I did pretty good.  I did get some nice fabric though.  The Joann's over there had some great fabric and I also bought a book, Quilting from little things by Sarah Fielke.  She's one of the authors from Material Obsession but this one was on her own. 
Oh, yah, I signed up for an embroidery swap at Wild Olive.  Um, I'm sort of feeling like what was I thinking?  I have no good ideas and I'm not even that great at embroidery....I'm sure it will work out fine but I don't want to disappoint my partner.  Like, I kind of want to do something with a gnome and toadstool, natch.  But then I keep thinking a bunny would be cute.  I don't even know.
Today I'm just chillin.  Went over to Jan's to let her dogs out while she's at a volleyball tourney.  It's kind of weird to be at your friends house when they aren't there.  It's been snowing off and on, not the kind that is sticking yet, but it might.  Oh, did I mention I was reading the Hunger Games series?  I'm on the waiting list at the library for the last book so yesterday while I was at Barnes and Noble I read the ending.  It ends pretty close to how I wanted it to :) and yes, I will still read the book and enjoy it.