Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Panel With Piecing & UFO Challenge Update

The birds and flowers in the center is a panel.

That was surrounded by patchwork blocks.  I did some large x-hatching in the patchwork and added a featherey flower motif that echos the flowers that are at the top of the panel.

The panel was all outline quilted with additional quilting along the design lines.

Mmm.  Very pretty on the back.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE 2014 UFO CHALLENGE? 
Geez, I don't think I've mentioned this challenge here on the blog in... quite some time.  Ignorance is bliss, I guess.  Here is the current update.
As you can see, I have a couple of FAILsBUT I have four successes so far, and still five weeks to complete the current challenge item.  We three quilters have agreed that we'd like to participate in another UFO challenge in 2015.  Apparently we all need to feel like we're being chased by a zombie and a finished UFO is the admission to the safe house.
So what happened with my 'fails'?  
#3, the Bowtie Quilt came up on the list when I was hobbling around with the stupid cast & crutches.  This is a three dimensional bowtie quilt (if you're familiar with those) so it MUST be custom quilted, otherwise Floyd's hopping foot would get caught up in the bowties and start ripping things.  Not a good idea. 
#6, the Piece 'O Cake applique quilt?  No excuse really.  I just never got around to pulling out the light box and marking up a new block.  May/June is the start of gardening season and I'm always so anxious to go out and get my fingernails muddy & broken.  (It's a very attractive look, no?)  Like I said, no excuse really.  Maybe I will do better next year.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pineapple Log Cabin and Another Mushroom Recipe

Ha ha ha - I guess I'm doing a FOODIE post.  Pineapple?  Mushroom?

This is a beautiful tone-on-tone Pineapple Log Cabin quilt.  All the golds and creams make this a wonderful, restful piece.

It is a very large quilt and got a ton of stitch-in-the-ditch in the log cabin blocks, along with a simple little circular motif in the center.  The alternate blocks were quilted with a pretty feather motif.

Wowser - check out the back!
This quilt was done by the mom of the mushroom gal.  So not only do I appreciate her trusting me with this  gorgeous quilt that took her so much time and effort, I also was lucky enough that she came with her daughter. That netted me mushroom compost and the five pounds of portobellos.

Here is the chicken recipe I made that was "Oh My God" delicious. ( I have made a few notes about how I changed this at the end.)

Mushroom Asiago Chicken    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 5
    Cook Time: 25

Ingredients:
1 lb     Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Halves, 2 large
2 Tbsp     Butter
2 Tbsp     Olive Oil, divided
2 cups     Mushrooms, cut in half
1 clove     Garlic, minced
3     Springs Fresh Thyme
1½ cups     Dry White Wine
½ cup     Seasoned Flour, see below
½ cup     Heavy Cream
¼-½ cup     Shredded Asiago or Parmesan Cheese
½ tsp     Salt, or to taste
¼ tsp     Pepper, or to taste   

Seasoned Flour:
½ cup     All-purpose Flour
1 tsp     Salt
½ tsp     Black Pepper


Directions:

•    Pound chicken breast with a meat mallet between 2 sheets of waxed paper or heavy plastic wrap until meat is uniform thickness, about 1/4-inch. Cut into serving-sized pieces (2 or 3 pieces per breast.)
•    Heat the butter with 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a deep, heavy skillet or saute pan over medium heat.
•    Dredge chicken in seasoned flour. Add to hot oil/butter in skillet. Saute until golden on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
•    Add remaining olive oil to hot skillet. Saute mushrooms and garlic until mushrooms begin to brown.
•    Carefully add white wine to skillet, scraping up all the browned bits that are at the bottom of the pan.  Bruise the fresh thyme by twisting it between your fingers or hitting it with the dull side of a knife in a few places. Add thyme to the mushroom/wine mixture in pan.
•    Add the chicken back to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
•    Remove chicken from pan. Add the cream and heat through. Add the asiago cheese (if you like it strongly flavored, use 1/2 cup; not as strongly flavored, use the 1/4 cup--asiago is a powerful cheese and you can even use less for just a whisper of flavor. I like it strong, so I use 1/2 cup.)
•    Cook, stirring constantly over low heat until cheese melts. Continue cooking until sauce is reduced by about 1/2. If you wish to skip the reduction step, you may thicken the sauce slightly with about 1 tbsp instant flour or 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbs water. However, the reduction will taste better.
•    Add chicken back to pan and heat through. 
•    Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme. May be served over any pasta.

My notes:
The portobellos were large, so I sliced them about 1/4" thick.  If I were to use white button mushrooms I'd follow the recipe and cut them in half.
I used PARMESAN cheese, a full half cup.
I used BLUEBERRY WINE.  This made a brown sauce that was sweet.
I served this over Penne noodles.
I had to push myself away from the table or I would have kept eating.  Yum.
Even DH said "I think this is a MAKE AGAIN recipe".

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tutorial for easy coasters - Great Christmas Gift!! (and a stash report)

Christmas is coming.  Don't be caught short when you get invited to dinner - make your hostess gifts NOW.
These are dirt simple.  Each coaster uses five squares, each cut 5" x 5".  You can make 8 coasters and take 25" of fabric off your stash report.  I made a dozen of these so I get to claim one meter of stash.  Yay.  :-)







STASH REPORT
Used since last report:  1 m
Used YTD                  68.95 m
Added since last report    0
Added YTD                119.75 m
NET YTD                   + 50.8 m

On the home front, DH and I went to the mushroom farm last Friday and filled up the truck AND the trailer with mushroom compost - 7 yards (or more).  I've been shoveling that shit stuff ever since.  It really IS poop, though - I'm not being derogatory.  The sweet gal at the farm is the daughter of a new customer, and let me tell you - she really is sweet!  She also gave me a five pound box of portobello mushrooms.  Do you know how many mushrooms that is?  Holy mackerel.  I made a fantastic pot of mushroom soup, tomorrow I'm making a potato/portobello gratin (recipe LINK), and then I will dehydrate the remaining mushrooms for later use.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Scrappy Hourglass & 16-Patch

As you know, I love scrappy quilts.  This one includes everything but the kitchen sink.  It's fun to quilt these because the fabrics keep me amused.

The quilt maker is a cat lover, so we chose a cat pantograph.  Too cute!!


For the hundredth time I missed a call because I cannot keep my technology straight.  My work table is often quite, um, busy with objects, so when I determine where the ringy-dingy noise is coming from I just grab the grey thing with buttons.  I wish they'd find a different colour of plastic.
When I was in Tobermory with the Beach Girls, DH bought a bushel of Cortland apples for my private little fall pie-making festival.  I've got six pies in the freezer so far and I'll get probably another five done this week.  I was telling a friend yesterday, I wish there was a street drug called 'Apples'.  Then when someone asked me what I'd been up to, I could say "I've been doing Apples" and they would think I was really hip and edgy and hanging out at the clubs in my leather jeans.  Sigh.  If you're looking for me any night this week I'll be at the kitchen counter.  :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It was all about the PUPPY (and a Stash Report)

At retreat I managed to get this assembled without incident.  Now added to the TFUQ listing.

But in reality, this year's Tobermory Retreat was all about ANNI.
There was a bit of swearing at the little twit gentle persuasion, asking the little darling to give back the pieces.  And I learned a new term:  F.R.A.P.  Doggie crazies.  Click here.

Anyhow... this was Thursday's project.  The Double Wedding Ring that has not seen the light of day since March.  And it probably won't see daylight again until next March.  I figured out that this needs to be laid out in three rows at a time, since every row encompasses the row above AND the row below.  At least, that's how it seems to be working out as a scrappy quilt.
I have a stash report that includes the cosmetic bag yardage, AND a couple of items that were mailed off to Singapore as Christmas gifts for my great-niece.  Note to readers:  if you need to mail Christmas parcels this early, make sure you bought your Christmas cards last year, because you will not find them in the stores in October.

STASH REPORT
Used this month:  3.75 m
Used YTD:         67.95 m
Added this month:  0
Added YTD:      119.75 m
NET YTD:         + 51.8 m

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cosmetic Bags

Today's mission was to make a few cosmetic bags. The Caledonia guild will be donating these, filled with toiletries, to the local women's shelter. Diane & Karen cleaned out some of their travel size products and brought them along to help stuff the bags. The real pattern that was handed out at the guild meeting has gone missing, so I had to wing it.
Additionally, I've finished a top for the Binbrook guild challenge, made four placemat tops, and made four cell phone wallets for my girlies here. I think my KP duties are finally over, after the BS tart this afternoon. That was devoured in no time flat, in the glorious sunshine with our afternoon cocktails on the deck. Seriously, this is the life. Lord willing, our lottery ticket will be a big winner tonight. :-)

Monday, October 20, 2014

First on the railing

When you realize, five (?) years after cutting out all those half-hexagons, that you only have HALF of a king size quilt, first you utter many UNlady-like words.  Then you UNstitch the quilt into three equal panels.   Stitch it back together, filling in with a coordinating neutral.  Presto-change-o.  King size.
This was supposed to have been totally finished back in June for a guild UFO challenge.  Har har. That cost me a $10.00 penalty.  To add insult to injury, the new puppy here on retreat PEED on this last night.  Nice. Thanks, Anni.