Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Popeye's favorite - Spinach Feta Soup

A while back we were in Watkins Glen and I had the most fabulous spinach feta soup there. I was determined to re-create that wonderful dish when we returned home. In my quest I came up with the following recipe for it and it tastes wonderful. My daughter wants the recipe too so it must be good cause she's a picky eater!
Spinach Feta Soup
750g bag of frozen spinach
200g feta drained
5 slices of bacon
4 stalks of celery
1 small onion
Knob of butter
900 ml chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cream cheese
2 large potatoes
Garlic clove minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Worchester sauce
1 tsp nutmeg

Cut up raw bacon finely and brown bacon in a stock pot, add garlic diced celery and diced onion and saute all with a knob of butter. Peel and dice two large potatoes and add to the mix. Saute 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Cook the spinach and drain well. Chop into small pieces. Add the spinach, nutmeg and Worchester and continue to simmer while stirring well. Add the feta cheese and cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the cream, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes…..eat and enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I feel an idea coming on!

I was surfing Ebay recently and found these cute button holiday ornaments for sale.....hmmmm, what can I do with these?
It's rare that you can locate sewing themed artifacts, so when I saw them I went for it and purchased them. Then I let my mind wander as to what I could do with them when they arrived. How many times have you seen something, debated, not purchased, then after going home, come up with a brilliant idea, went back, and it was gone! Ya...me too. So now when I see something, I get it, then worry about what I'll do with it after. It never fails that I come up with some creative idea to use the object.....I feel an idea coming on for these cuties!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tea Towel Transformation

My mom and I go out on Wednesday afternoons...that's her time with me. We do lunch then try and find interesting things to do together. Some times it's art galleries, sometimes it's shopping, sometimes it's doing errands that she can't manage on her own. We ventured off to a little village called Ridgeville on Wednesday and they have 3 little shops that are themed for the season. I found this flour sack tea towel with the dog and wagon imprinted on it and thought it was so cute. I stopped by Michael's, picked up a frame and stand, came home, cut and cropped the towel, added a little batting behind it and it turned out sweet as Christmas pudding.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tisket, Tasket, finally finished my little baskets

Well it took a while but I finally finished and quilted my Tisket, Tasket Baskets free BOM by Bunny Hill Designs. I was able to use scraps from the many Thimbleberry projects I have done over the years and I think it turned out great. What's even nicer is that this is one of my first custom quilts done on my long arm and I can say that I'm happy with how it turned out. I was able to stitch in the ditch quite well, and did do a feather border around the edge even though it's not perfect it's a good attempt and good practise for me. Don't think I'm running right out to do more customs but it was a good learning.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas themed card club

Each month I join in a Stampin Up Card club class and we make 3 projects in an evening. It's a great deal of fun and the projects are themed to the season and of course with winter and Christmas upon us we made these delightful projects.
The top two are nice Christmas cards using different techniques which is always fun to learn something new. The bottom one is a Christmas note book which will come in very handy to make to do lists or jot down notes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I've gone from flat to fluffy

When we were in Montreal I was in a department store looking around and came across a fabulous scarf. I just loved it and was going to purchase it until I looked at the price tag....OMG $55.00...I don't think so. I opted to have a better look as to how the scraf was made. It was a simple flat scarf and they had sewed rows of elastic which gathered up the scarf and gave it these beautiful ruffles. You could just wrap it around your neck and all the ruffles sat wonderfully around your shoulders and tucked without difficulty into your coat. That of course got me to thinking....I should be able to do this myself. I purchased elastic thread which I pulled tight as I wound it onto the bobbin of my sewing machine and used regular thread on the top. I simply sewed three rows of stitching down the length of the scarf and voila, it ruffled like a charm....I love it and I saved $55.00 which I can now buy more stash with!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Unsolved Mysteries Group

These are the new group of ladies that have signed up for Mystery Club for the 2011 season. The mystery club is offered at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. and we meet the first Friday of every month. The pattern we are working through this year is Border Creek Station's Quilter's Journey, with the option of Travel by day or Travel by night. Each month students are given new clues to work on with their fabric selection and it's not until the end of the installments do they know what their quilt will look like. So much fun and we have a great group of ladies including Pat, Rene, Audrey, Arden, Donna, Kathleen, Carole and Barb.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mellow Yellow

This is my friend Pat's finished mystery quilt. Isn't it to die for? I love blue and yellow together and this quilt is an absolutely stunning mix of the two. Pat's been quilting for only a few years and I think she did an amazing job on this beauty. This will look wonderful on her bed any time of the year, but can you imagine this on the bed on a breezy warm spring day.....Oh I wish is was mine!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mystery Batik

This is Kathleen's finished Mystery quilt. What a beautiful quilt all done in batiks. Kathleen comes to the class with her friend Carol and they both did an amazing job of their quilts. I love the blue and green jewel tones she chose. I would love to have this quilt gracing my bedroom but somehow I don't think Kathleen would be willing to give it up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Delicious Mystery Quilt

This is Barb's completed Mystery Club quilt....oh what a beauty. It is wonderful and I love the fabric and color choices she made. Barb took the class with her daughter Debbie and her granddaughter Leigh so it was a real family affair. In the fabric line was a gorgeous apple print which just makes the quilt look delicious. It's so rich looking and so country.... I want it, I want it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy little beginners

Am I working them too hard?....Look- they didn't even look up when I took the photo. These lovely ladies are Bernadette, Jane, Liz and Kathie and they are my beginner students at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. By the way they are in the beginner class, but they certainly don't quilt like beginners. They are doing amazing and their quilts are looking amazing too! I'll be sharing their finished projects with you shortly.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mmmm...mystery club bonus

At our mystery club class at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. we like to have fun and we love to have fun with food. In addition to the monthly class students get special treats along with recipes, taste tests and giveaways...no wonder they keep coming back. One year the theme was cakes, then tarts and last year it was loafs. This year the class wanted cupcakes, so cupcakes it is. Each month they get a cute little recipe card in a special wrapper and a holder to keep all the months recipes in. Then I make the cupcakes and bring them in so the students can sample. This month I wanted a fall themed cupcake so the recipe was Butterscotch Bundt. I dressed up the cupcake with a leaf cut out of rolled out tootsie roll and an acorn moulded out of a caramel, dipped in chocolate then dipped again in chocolate sprinkles. Mmmmmm good.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leftovers again!

As I was cutting off the corner diagonal of the block and accumulating a pile of cute little stacked triangles it occurred to me "waste not, want not". I really could make use of these things....they are already to go...just have to sew down the side, cut them with my "quilt in a day" ruler and voila...itty bitty half square triangles.
So that's what I'm working on....as if I don't have enough to do....but I have always wanted to do a miniature quilt and this seems like a perfect opportunity...I'll keep you posted on this "little" project.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Working on a chain gang

I've been working on my mystery quilt and "chain piecing" like crazy. Part of the quilt process is to sew these little 2 inch squares diagonally onto the 3X5 rectangle......96 times!
Tedious, but chain piecing helps. Can't wait to see what next month brings as a clue!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pretty Patchwork

This is a quilt brought to me by a customer to longarm. It is so simple but so effective and such a pretty patchwork. She made it from mostly Thimbleberries scraps and it looked amazing, but I'm partial to country colors anyway. I quilted it in the panto Happy Times which looks great on just about any quilt. She had chosen flannel for the backing so it's a wonderful and cozy quilt for her living room.

Monday, November 15, 2010

So much fuss over Gus

Recently I had the opportunity to join Maureen Augerman at her monthly doll class. It was so much fun and we each made this lovely little snowman named Gus. The pattern is from Threads That Bind and he was super easy to make with his unbleached cotton body, sew on buttons, pipe cleaner and pom poms for the ear muffs and the cutest little clothesline holding his stockings. Maureen's daughter Karen made the little noses out of moldable clay and baked them. There was a little hole at the end so you just had to sew it on...brilliant. I love him! He's a keeper.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My first reversible quilt- )$(@*&@&()@ - quilted!

I had this quilt brought to me to longarm and was terrified when I first looked at it because the quilter wanted it quilted as a reversible. It was actually 2 quilts and she wanted it quilted together. I guess I just worry too much....like what about the extra thickness of points on the front as well as the back, will the machine needle be able to handle the thickness, what about lining it up perfectly, front on back and making sure it's square.....After fretting about it and explaining that I would do my best, it turned out beautiful. I love the ABC print and the color combination....cute as a button!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winter...it's for the birds

This is a little mini 12X12 quilt I designed to fit the Ackfeld tabletop hanger. I like it lots, reminds me of when my mom hung clothes on the line outside. The fabric for the mittens looks like knitted wool which is really cool and I used blanket fleece for the cuffs. Since I'm rather lazy when it comes to hand embroidery, I machine embroidered the lettering with my machine. All done and just waiting for the snow to fly!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's not a mystery to me

A new season of mystery club begins at Kindred Spirit Quilt Co. This is the fourth year I'm teaching this monthly quilt club. It's a mystery quilt offered by Border Creek Station and the quilt is called Quilter's Journey. Students have a choice of "travel by day" or travel by night"color option. I chose the travel by night version. Students do not know what the quilt will look like and they come each month to get their clue sheet instructing them what to cut and sew. Each month the mystery unfolds and they get closer to the reveal. I decided to make mine as a Christmas quilt this year as I don't have one for my bed and I thought it would be rather nice to indulge myself for a change. The fabric line is Makin' new Friends by Deb Strain for Moda. It's gonna be a beauty and of course because I'm teaching it, it's not a mystery to me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paper, scissors, glue...oh my!

These are the latest cards I made at my monthly Stampin Up Club class. I have so much fun at this class. I love the techniques we learn and the choices Cindy makes for the paper and co-ordinates. It's a great way to have a social night out with the girls, be creative and accumulate a good selection of cards for giving.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How sweet it is!

I just love this little cupcake tape-measure! The pattern for it is from Betz White and you can order on the Internet and have instant download which is fabulous if you want to get going on these right away. I made mine out of recycled wool sweaters which I felted. They are so cute and the perfect touch are the little sprinkles on the top stitched from beads. They were simple easy to make and a great gift for your quilting friends.
Hey guys...Christmas is coming!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holly the Quilter's Angel

This is the latest doll in a series designed for Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. for classes at their shop. The first was Garden Annie, then Stitch the Witch and now Holly the Quilter's Angel. Each doll has been designed with quilters in mind. Holly has patchwork wings and 3 inch blocks bordering her skirt. Her face is lightly sculpted and painted with fine tip permanent markers.
She doesn't necessarily need to be made in Christmas fabric, she could be done in sewing themed fabric and given to a quilting friend to watch over her while she quilts, making sure 1/4 inch seams are perfect and all points match. Patterns are available for purchase. If you're interested, just drop me a quick e-mail and I'll provide you with details.

Monday, November 8, 2010

They sure don't quilt like beginners!

This is Bernadette, Jane, Liz and Kathie....they are in my beginner class at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co.....but they don't quilt like a beginner. I am so impressed with them and they are all doing wonderfully. It's a great size class, just the four, which gives lots of time for individual attention. They are making a table top or wall hanging from Eleanor Burns' book, It's Elementary. Their blocks are turning out wonderful, all measuring 12.5 inch square which is phenomenal for a beginner. I'll share their finished projects as soon as they are done.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pretty in Pink

This is a customer quilt that I completed using the panto Camellias. It turned out quite nice as the quilting of the flowers really showed up great in the plain pink blocks. This was a monthly BOM that she had put together after the year was finished. It looks lovely with the pink and green fabrics together.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pretty Homespun

I had a customer bring me this pretty little homespun quilt to longarm. I love the pastels and it was so soft and cuddly, it almost felt like flannel. It turned out gorgeous quilted in the Angel Wings panto as you could really see the quilting and the little wings seem to pop. She made it for her grand daughter who I know is going to just love it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Measure twice...cut once

I've been playing around with those retractable tape measures that you can throw in your purse and take with you. I can't tell you how handy they are and how often I've had the opportunity to use them. I've been playing with my embroidery machine to create little circles which I then sew around the tape measure case. I always like to have a few little giveaway things that are unique for my quilting friends. These are a few that I've been trying out to see how they look. Lot's of work so not sure if I'll continue. I'm the kind of crafter that likes to get r' done.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two cream, one sugar please

My daughter was married 3 years ago and the theme of the wedding was "Love is Brewing" . We had teapot centerpieces filled with flowers and the gifts for the women were these lovely little teacup and saucers that held a tealight candle. Needless to say, I have about a dozen of them left so I was thinking what could I do with them. Bingo...pincushions. This is just the first prototype, but I think they will turn out nice and be great little giveaways for some quilting friends.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Witches...not them...the dolls

These are the ladies from the Stitch the Witch doll class I taught showing off their finished creations...how cute and each one was a little different. I designed the doll as a fun project at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. and geared the pattern to include some quilting features. "Stitch" had prairie points around her skirt and a little pocket that reads " I love quilting" as well as a little strip vest. The ladies did an amazing job and they were finished just in time for Halloween. Here they are stuffing body parts and sculpting hands and faces.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What came first?...the chicken or the egg

Who cares....as long as I get something to make another pincushion out of...This was a metal candle holder that I picked up at Homesense quite a while back and I thought I might be able to utilize it as a pincushion...and I was right. It's really heavy because it solid metal so you can put it right at the edge of your machine with your pins in it and it's not going anywhere...love the little red felted cushion and the red leaf pins...she's a keeper.

Another mystery solved

This is Carol from my Mystery class with her finished quilt...and then some. This was the Border Creek Mystery class that I taught at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. over the last year. We have so much fun at this class that is held once a month. We have giveaways and the ladies always get a special food treat with recipes included. So far we've done cakes, tarts and loafs...this year they want cupcakes! Carol did a wonderful job on her quilt, even though she had never done applique before. She just about freaked when she saw how much applique was required and I was concerned that she was a little intimidated by it....LOL...look what she ended up doing!....two matching pillowcases. Good for you Carol, you did a fabulous job and everything looks beautiful.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bite me...Halloween's over

It's sad that Halloween is over with today and Dracula here has to be put away for another year. He's so much fun sitting on the front porch and the kids get a kick out of him when they come to Trick or Treat. He was super easy to make. I think the pattern was from a craft magazine a few years ago. He's made out of clay pots in various sizes that are painted with acrylic paint. His cape is made out of sparkle felt and I always manage to get a cool grass plant for his hair. Thats an owl roosting in his top pot. I hate to put him away again, but we need to get on with our Christmas stuff now....only 54 days and counting.