Wednesday, October 27, 2010

did you know

Did you know when you double the size of a quilt, you will most likely run out of the main color? Duh! Apparently I didn't!

I got bored quilting blocks for Derek's quilt and decided to start setting some blocks together. As I was cutting fabric for the setting strips I noticed there wasn't a lot of fabric left. So as I was setting that row together I kept looking at the fabric mentally measuring and remeasuring fabric. Once I got the row set together, I got up, laid out the fabric and got to wonder if I had enough to finish building the rest of the blocks. Well only one way to find out! I finished making the blocks. I had a 24'' x 8" piece left when I was done. That was way too close for comfort! And boy am I glad I listen to that quiet voice that says, "I'm not sure you want to do that."

To add to the fun, I knew we had purchased the end of the bolt. Most stores here in my neck of the woods don't have any in the back waiting to be put on the shelves. What you see is what you have to choose from. So, I went on a search-n-destroy mission to the other local fabric shops looking for a fabric that would work with what I had. Surprise! Surprise! The first fabric shop I stopped at had a fabric that is real close. It has a touch of white, a very small print but the background is the same shade as the original main color. If you get up close and personal you will notice the difference, but three or four feet away not so much.

Oh, how much too short was I? 70" long piece figured on 40" width, that is all the setting strips front and back as well as the binding.

I have two more border strips to add and then the binding. Yeah! It will be done before the First of November which is when I promised it.

Well back to it!

Have a good day !


Sunday, October 17, 2010

sweet potatoes

Will I never learn!? I am not a spring chicken any more. I don't bounce back quite as fast either! Today I went out and dug up the sweet potato patch. My body is really, really unhappy with me. My shoulders are getting stiffer as the day wears on and my butt-tocks (as Forrest Gump would say), well it hurts to sit on them.

Thank goodness Sister Suzy showed up. She dug the last five feet or so, or I would probably still be out there whining and trying to get that last little bit dug up. We filled a big plastic tote with potatoes. We got about 100 pounds or so.

I will put a sheet of cardboard under the dining room table to spread the potatoes out in a single layer to cure. I am looking forward to baked sweet potato, sweet potato pie and sweet potatoes chips.

Baked Sweet Potato

My mother learned to make baked sweet potatoes from an old black gentleman by the name of John Horn. She meet him in the late '40s. He was a junk dealer in Parsons, Kansas.

Scrub your sweet potatoes, use a russet size baking potato. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until tender. Break open the skin. Put a shake of salt on and a couple pats of butter. Taste for sweetness. Your potato may need a little sprinkle of sugar or a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pie

You can use your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. In my case that would be my Aunt Olive's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie recipe.

1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 eggs separated
2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup pumpkin or sweet potato, cooked and pureed
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream

Soften gelatin in cold water. Combine egg yolks and 1 cup sugar in saucepan; beat until thick. Add pumpkin(or sweet potato), milk, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thick. Remove from heat. Add softened gelatin; stir until dissolved. Chill until mixture begins to thicken.
Beat egg whites in mixing bowl until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 of sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. Beat cream and last 1/2 cup sugar until stiff; fold gently but thoroughly into gelatin mixture; them fold in egg whites. Spoon into pie crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. If desired, garnish with whipped cream.

Edit: 11/25/2010 I cut the sugar to 1 cup total and it was sweet enough. Use 1/2 cup sugar with the egg yolks and skip the 1/2 cup sugar in the cream. Judy

Sweet Potatoes

I found this recipe on the with some changes of my own.

enough sweet potatoes for your family, about 4 bakers for us
enough vegetable oil for deep-frying

spice mixes for shaking on after frying
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne powder(optional)
pinch cinnamon

Peel sweet potatoes and discard skin(duh). Slice in thin chips. Place in a bowl of ice water for 1 hour. Drain in a colander; layout on paper towels; pat dry.

Heat oil in a large pot to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry potatoes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.(Mine take a little longer because I don't get them super thin.) Lift chips out with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with the spice mixtures and serve immediately.

Ouch! I found a new ache, whine, whimper, whine. My Knees! I think it is going to be a 3 Ibuprofen night! Sniffle!

Have a good day!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

update on a few items

First item. Sudoku.

I finished the puzzle book and it is now in the trash! I went to this web site and downloaded instruction on how to work the puzzles. Piece of cake! I had more trouble with a level 2 puzzle than I did the level 4 puzzles. If only crossword puzzle worked out so easily!

Next Item. Derek's quilt.

I decided to do the Attic Window treatment to the blocks. I used a modified version of the Easy Attic Window. I saw no point in the second cut and seam. Less cuts and seams for me means less matching and more satisfaction with the finished product. KISS it works every time!

Thursday I went to Jenny's and had her lay out the blocks where she thought they ought to go. We had enough blocks left over to add another row. So the quilt has grown to be at least a regular size and may end up queen depending on how much green I think it needs between the blocks for balance. While that is fermenting in the back of my mind I have been working on the last item. . .

Sister Suzy's sweater.

The gradual color change is coming along nicely. After showing my plan to my sister and a friend, who are both artists, and both saying they thought it would work, I have foraged ahead. The back of the sweater has some long floats so when I get to the last section I may try to do some duplicate stitches.

Well, that's all folks!

Have a good day!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Derek's quilt

I've known Jenny since she was 4 or 5. She asked me to make her nephew Derek a quilt. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle quilt to be specific. She promised to get him sheets when he was a kid and never did. Now he is 6'4". We are going to make him one of my signature Man-Size Afghan. The width is at least 4' and the length is at least 6'. Derek is, however, taller than 6' so we are going up a half foot in length.

Jenny found sheets that have large motifs on them. A couple of sheets were rejected because they were too thin and had a high polyester content. Fabric with a high polyester content will pill with wear. If you are quilting with fabric that has a high polyester content the batting will beard through the fabric. Ugly! Another sheet was made of single knit, nice looking sheet, we thought about using it for the backing, however, it was Way off grain.

The dark sheet on the bottom will be used as backing. I will cut up the other turtle sheet into the separate motifs. Then put either a thin yellow or red border around each motif and set everything together with the green. I plan on sew strips of the green, yellow, green, red together, then cut the rectangle on the bias for the binding.

I am going to use the Crazy Shortcut Quilts method of quilting the blocks and setting them together. Marguerita posted about a quilt-along. I agreed to do one with her, so I am killing two birds with one stone. True, this is not a crazy quilt, however, this technique will work with more traditional quilts.

I am going to try using Sulky's clear polyester thread for the quilting. (I have not used it before.) It is an idea I picked up from watching one of Marguerita videos. I don't want the quilting running across the figures to be very noticeable. Most of the motifs are 8 to 10 inches square and the batting says 2 to 4 inch spacing on the quilting.

Happy quilting and have a good day!


sister suzy's sweater

This is the sweater I started for Sister Suzy. It is a top down sweater from Lion Brand Yarn web site called (Surprise! Surprise!) Top-down Cardigan. I am knitting on US #10s. using a modification for gauge I found in Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. She explains how to make the gauge you are getting work for the pattern you want to use. Pretty cool!

The yarn came from E-Bay Knitters Paradise. The Yarn is Coats & Clark Yarn 250- Super Saver 4 Ply in Paddy Green and Royal Blue.

Sister Suzy found a sweater in a store that gradient from black to white then back to black. She took a picture of it with her cell phone to show me. We talked colors, I had the blue, she thought a green would look good with it. So Hubby and I went back to Knitters Paradise and found a green we thought would go well with the blue.

Then on a piece of graph paper after a couple of stabs at it, I think I have come up with a plan to gradient from blue to green and back to blue in the twelve-and-a-half inches I have from the arm hole to the bottom of the sweater.

Have a good day!