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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Evening bag

A friend of mine showed our quilting group a lovely evening bag she'd made, and I fell in love with it; it just about matches a Bargello jacket I'd made not long ago. My friend kindly loaned me the bag for an upcoming special occasion, as well as the pattern she'd used. I had a few spare minutes, so I've made my own version of the bag (though I have to say I like hers better).

What's so unusual about this bag? Can you believe it's made from a man's necktie? That's the truth! It's about 9" x 6.25", so it's perfect for carrying just the "bare essentials". Why do I prefer my friend's bag? Her necktie was prettier! It wasn't shiny, for one thing, and it had an all-over tone-on-tone print, rather than the stripe I ended up using. But do you know how difficult it is to find a reasonably-priced black necktie that isn't just solid black? ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I did it!

Hmmm ... what's this? Could it be ...? Yes!!!! I braved the heat and finished up the last of the Winding Ways blocks for my quilt. :D This is what a stack of 104 blocks looks like. ;)

Here's a better photo, though, showing all eight fabrics I used. Each fabric is used both in the background pieces and in the "blade" pieces in equal amounts.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to begin putting the blocks together for a few weeks, as things are about to get pretty busy here. But one of the nice things about quilting is that so frequently there are no deadlines, and our projects wait very patiently for us to get back to them. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

These are good ...

Have I mentioned that my sewing room faces due west? Have I mentioned that I live in the desert and that it's hot here in the summer? Okay, I know I haven't posted in a while, and I know it's been even longer since I posted anything quilt related, but I just can't seem to get motivated lately, given the heat. When the living room here is 79°F., my sewing room is at least 81°, maybe more. Ugh. Turning on my sewing machine makes it worse. Don't even mention the iron to me. ;)

You know it's bad when cooking sounds better than quilting, given that firing up the oven or the stovetop also produces heat, but that's the truth. Yes, the kitchen also faces west, but it doesn't have a window exposed to the sun for as long as the one in my sewing room.

So here's my latest creation. My sister sent me a recipe for some cookies called courabiets, and they're truly delicious. They're a sort of variation on shortbread (which I adore), but made with almond flour to give them a wonderful flavor. I took them to my quilt group today, and I think everyone liked them. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Warm weather meal

It's getting warmer and warmer here in the desert. Actually, I'm not really complaining, since we had an unusually cool (for us) spring. However, now that cooler weather is gone for the duration, and we're hitting the 90s now, with temperatures over 100 beginning next weekend. Have I mentioned that my sewing room faces west? That really makes it difficult to stay comfortable in these warmer months.

Today I decided that those leftover pieces of grilled chicken in our refrigerator would make a pretty good chicken salad for our dinner, with the addition of whatever else was handy and some homemade pasta to add to it. I used a pasta extruder attachment for my mixer and ended up with quite a nice little batch of fusilli, half of which went into the salad and half of which is now in my freezer for a future meal. You can see the extruder cranking out the fusilli in the photo.

A little homemade lemon mayonnaise to bind the chicken, pasta and vegetables together, and I have a nice-looking and refreshing dinner chilling and all ready to go! :)