Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stacked Monkeys

So a while ago I bought some sock monkey fabric.  Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but two of my most favorite quilts were sock monkey quilts, so I've been on the look out for a pattern.

I bought this book on Amazon.

and it has some great kid quilts.  There is a pattern, Stacks, that I thought would be perfect with my sock monkey fabrics. The pattern calls for nine different fabrics and I only had seven.  A friend at work had some fabric she had used for a baby shower for her grandson (a sock monkey themed baby shower) which she graciously gave me.  For the ninth fabric, I used some pieces of two different leftover red sock monkey fabrics.

I think I want to add a border although the quilt in the book doesn't have one.  Not sure how I want to quilt it either.  

This is a first for me. I have three quilt tops finished. Usually I finish as I go.  The most I've had before was one.  Actually, I have four when you count the duvet cover.  I'd like to finish that one up next.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

15 Minute Challenge

Last week (5/14-20), I totally fell short on the challenge, yet again, with only one day of sewing -- I don't even remember which day it was, possibly Saturday.  I started working on the back for the American Jane quilt (or whatever I'm calling it now).  I'm piecing the rest of that fabric along with some ruler fabric I purchased at the Fat Quarter Shop.

I want to spend time sewing, but I just don't seem to have the motivation to actually do it. So this week has gone better.  Here's what's going on.

Tuesday - worked on back of AJ quilt
Wednesday - finished piecing back of AJ quilt
Thursday - cut sock monkey fabric
Friday - nothing
Saturday - sewed together two rows of quilt
Sunday - nothing
Monday - nothing

Not such a bad week but I'd like to do better.
Anyway, to see who HAS met the challenge, head over to Life In Pieces.

Weekend Update

so, of the 8 things I had planned, I think I only accomplished four five.  In baseball, that's batting over .500 which is a great average, so I'll go with that.

1 - plant flowers - done.  no, pics and I should plant more.  We'll see about this weekend.
2 - mow the grass - done. (not by me, but done none the less).
3 - clean the bathroom(s) - I did get a head start on these on Thursday, but that still counts.
4 - finish AJ quilt - I didn't touch this all weekend. I need to baste it this week.
5 - make baby boy quilt - thought about this, but didn't get anywhere
6 - start on sock monkey quilt - Did this - cut out fabric, made two rows.
7 - clean out pan cupboards - done!
8 - straighten linen closet

For those in the US, I hope you had a great Memorial Day yesterday.  We had a cook out yesterday for Memorial Day and combined it with our youngest grandson's first birthday.

Here's a picture of the birthday boy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Long Weekend List

So for this upcoming long weekend, I have lots of plans.  First, Saturday is Cooper's first birthday.  A good grandma would make something for her grandson, but I'll probably just get him some cars or a train or something. Sunday, we have a end of year party to go to.  Monday, we are hosting a family barbeque. 

However, I want to accomplish some other things as well. Here's my list:

1 - plant flowers
2 - mow the grass
3 - clean the bathroom(s)
4 - finish AJ quilt
5 - make baby boy quilt
6 - start on sock monkey quilt
7 - clean out pan cupboards
8 - straighten linen closet

But first I need to get through today and then I can focus on the weekend.  I have an "event" at my office today and I'm worried about how it's going to turn out.

Oh, and I need to stop playing games ..

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Here's my "old" biscotti recipe.

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 c. unblanched almonds
3 large eggs
2t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Put first five items in a large bowl, stir to mix, add nuts and mix. Whisk eggs and vanilla in small bowl, add to dry ingredients.

Dough will seem dry, but will come together.

Turn dough onto floured surface, knead 1-2 minutes. Divide in half. Make 2 logs about 2 inches wide by 1 inch high (about 12 inches long), place on parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Bake 30 minutes. remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes (important).

Slice using a sharp serrated knife - DIAGONALLY - about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 10-15 minutes cut side down.  cool on pan.

Biscotti, Breads and other goodies

This week I've started  making biscotti.  Why? you may ask.  Well, my son (OS -- oldest son) and his fiancee (FOOS, fiancee of oldest son) have asked me to make some biscotti for their wedding and I am testing out recipes.  I bought this book from Amazon.

I tried two of the recipes.  They were okay, but not great.  For one thing, they were more like cookies and less like biscotti.  They weren't hard enough.  They got a little harder overnight, but still not where I think it should be.  I'm going to re-try the espresso and white chocolate macadamia nuts ones in my "old" recipe.

My "old" recipe is one I got from a friend (about a million years ago).  I decided to combine recipes from the book with my basic "old" recipe.  When making the new recipes v. the old one, there were a couple of differences.  My "old" recipe does not have butter and the new ones do.  that might account for a lot.  I also did a couple of other things differently with the old recipe and those things might make the difference (amount of flour, kneading, baking time, sitting time, etc.).  

If any of you has (or is it have?) a biscotti recipe that you've used and liked, please pass it on.  I'm going to need to make a ton of biscotti come August and I'd like to know what I'm making before then.

I also recently got a recipe from my Uncle Walter, for some bread he makes, modified from this cookbook which I got from Amazon. 

My cousins all swear by it.  I am planning to make that this weekend.  (Probably not good for my diet, but I'll have to show restraint.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

15 Minute Challenge

Another week without much sewing.  I'd like to have someone to blame it on, but it's really me. On Sunday, my husband was at the sewing table, but to blame him for my lack of sewing is wrong; I didn't ask him to leave or share or anything.  Here's how the week went.

Tuesday - made diaper ATV
Wednesday - worked on American Jane Quilt
Thursday - nothing
Friday - added borders to AJ quilt / finished quilt top
Saturday - nothing
Sunday -bought some thread
Monday -ordered fabric for the backing of the AJ Quilt

To see how others met the challenge, click here to go over to Kate's Life in Pieces. 

hmm, multipotentiality.  I have trouble focusing on even more than one project at a time, much less more than one type of project. I seem to go from craft to craft but within the craft I only do one thing.  Yeah, I know, I do the diaper cakes, but that's just a distraction, a fun thing.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day!

To my sisters, my DIL, and my mom (not to mention my cousins, SILs, MIL, and the other women who have influenced me who are also mothers).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I took this picture at the National Museum of American History when I was in DC a few weeks ago. I don't know how old it is but I thought it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

15 Minute Challenge

Not a very productive week; I didn't get to the sewing machine much this week. hardly at all. but I'm linking up any way.

Tuesday - worked on Look and Learn quilt
Wednesday - make diaper cake
Thursday - nothing
Friday - nothing
Saturday - bought batting at Joann's
Sunday - and more nothing
Monday - even more nothing

Here's a picture of the diaper cake.

And I won a giveaway from Brooke at Silly Mama Quilts.  How fun!!

And now for Kate's topic, "what else do you do?"  Kate mentioned that I make diaper cakes -- coincidentally I made one this week.  My daughter and I make them together so it's a bonding time as well.  It's fun and they look great!

I also knit.  Before I started quilting, I was crocheting and knitting baby blankets.  I branched out and made a baby sweater -- it turned out great, but I haven't added buttons to it yet (and I think that was six years ago, at least).  I made several hats and sweaters.  I also tried socks, but got discouraged and never finished them.  Someday I might pick them up and finish them.

Prior to knitting, I did some cross stitch.  I enjoyed that, but I got stuck on a stocking and never finished that.  Obviously a recurring theme, not finishing things.  However, with quilting I've been finishing.  So far, I like quilting best.  Hopefully, I'll stick with it.

That's it for now.  To see how everyone else did on the 15 minute challenge this week, check out Kate's Life In Pieces.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Goals : April Wrap Up

April was basically a bust.  I didn't complete any of my four goals. I barely worked on them.

1 - finish my knitted baby girl blanket.
2 - figure out what to do with the grinch fabric
3 - start a baby girl quilt
4 - craftsy class

I worked on the knitted blanket, but ended up ripping out several rows. I thought about the Grinch quilt, but that was it. and that's it.  I did manage to finish the quilt top using the left over Time and Again fabric, which might be a baby girl quilt, but I don't know about that. Maybe if I do something girly with the back ...

May's goals

1 - work on knitted baby girl blanket

2 - finish Left Over Time quilt

3 - finish American Jane quilt

4 - work on duvet cover

5 - take craftsy class

Let's start with those and see where I end up. 

Wordless Wednesday

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