Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Dana!

This is my DD, Dana. Today was her 20th birthday!

The tradition in our house has always been that you decide the supper menu on your birthday.

Dana picked Christmas Morning Wife Saver for her birthday dinner. This dish is a tradition in our house for Christmas morning and we rarely think about making it at other times of the year. If you are interested, this is the recipe:


16 slices white bread, crusts removed

16 slices Canadian back bacon

16 slices processed cheese

6 eggs

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 cup minced onion

3 cups milk

1/2 cup butter

crushed Corn Flakes


Set 8 pieces of bread into a 9" x 13" buttered, glass baking dish. Cover bread with slices of back bacon. Lay slices of cheese on top of bacon and then cover with remaining slices of bread to make it like a sandwich.

In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. To the egg mixture add dry mustard, onion, and milk. Pour over the sandwiches, cover and let stand in fridge overnight.

In the morning, melt butter, pour over top. Cover with crushed Corn Flakes. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour at 350 deg.F. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh fruit and cinnamon rolls.

Both of my kids do not like cake. So for desert, Dana picked a desert from the New Joys of Jell-O cookbook called, Berried Delight.


1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted margarine
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 2/3 cups cold milk
3 1/2 cups Cool Whip Whipped topping, thawed
2 pints frozen sliced strawberries
1 package (6 serving size) Jell-O Instant Pudding and Pie Filling, Vanilla flavor

Combine: Crumbs and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Mix in margarine. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of 13 x 9 inch pan. (If desired bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool on rack.)

Beat: Cream cheese with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Arrange strawberries in even layer on cream cheese mixture.

Pour: The remaining milk into medium bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour over strawberries. Chill 4 hours or overnight.

Spread: Remaining whipped topping over pudding just before serving.

Because the casserole Dana picked for supper is the type that you make ahead and store in the refrigerator, we were able to spend the entire day shopping without worrying about meal prep. Dana's present from us (Mom and Dad) was a day of clothes shopping. We picked up Grandma in the morning and the three girls--Grandma, Dana, and myself spent the day shopping for clothes in Langley. This is Dana with all her loot!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Let the Sun Shine In!

Today's temperatures were the same freezing temperatures we have had for the last couple of days. However, the sun was shining! It was too cold to be outside, but it was warm and cozy inside my studio. I have a large window in front of my long arm and this morning, I opened the blind and let the sun shine in!

It was so sunny, you could see the reflection of the quilt that I was working on in the window.

This is the quilt that I worked on today--not my quilt, it belongs to a customer. The last time I stopped to buy thread from my supplier, she showed me a new product from Superior Threads called Lava. I bought a spool to try and this quilt was the perfect quilt to try it on. This thread colour is Soft Breeze.
I leave you with two parting shots of my handsome, faithful companion, Joey.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt Anyway?

This is a picture of a quilt that I started a long, long time ago. I started this quilt before I bought my long arm and before I started keeping a detailed tracking sheet of the quilts that I make.

I got the inspiration to make this quilt from a magazine article. I needed to hunt down the article to determine exactly how long this quilt has been in the making. Luckily, I remembered that the quilt pattern was in an American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and so my search for the article was narrowed.

This quilt is made from 16 1/2" finished blocks that are quilted first and then joined together to make the quilt. Once the blocks are joined together and the binding is applied, there is no further quilting required.

This is a close up of one of the blocks. I did not use Marti Michell's technique as mentioned in the article to join my blocks together. I preferred the technique that is in Sharon Pederson's book, "Reversible Quilts: Two at a Time". Have a look at Sharon's website for further inspiration and details about her book.

These two pictures are scans of the magazine article: American Patchwork and Quilting , February 2003--the original inspiration for this quilt.

I am often asked how long it takes me to make a quilt. I find the question hard to answer. The answer is not necessarily based on how difficult the quilt pattern is, which is one of the things that could be a factor in total time to make a quilt. Sometimes, it is necessary to first understand what motivated me to start the quilt in the first place. In the case of this quilt, I was looking for a way to make larger quilts with my DSM. The idea of quilting a quilt in small blocks and then joining the blocks together to make the final quilt appealed to me. I was anxious to try the technique. Once I made a few blocks, the quilt sat--the technique was tried and the inspiration that motivated me to start the quilt waned. This quilt sat for a long time as a UFO. I had no original purpose for making this quilt other than to try out a new technique. Because there was no purpose for the finished quilt, there was no incentive to finish the UFO.

Fast forward to March 2008. We received an invitation to my husband's Uncle's 85th birthday party. An 85th birthday is definitely a milestone and very special. I thought this birthday required a quilt to commemorate it. I assessed my UFO's and dug out the quilt-as-you-go UFO. Now with inspiration to finish because there was an intended recipient of the quilt, I finished the quilt in time for Uncle Aaron's 85th birthday on March 29, 2008.

This is Uncle Aaron with his cake.

This is a picture of Uncle Aaron's immediate family--at least those that were able to be present for the celebration.

This is a picture of one of Uncle Aaron's daughters admiring the quilt.

How long does it take to make a quilt anyway? Sometimes it takes 5 years to make a quilt! *LOL*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Still Looking For Spring!

These pictures were taken yesterday. Look closely, the "lawn guy" in my parent's complex is mowing the lawn in a snow storm! He even had mitts on.

Last Saturday, the temperature was 20 degrees and sunny, today it is freezing--temperature is zero degrees!

We are still looking for Spring! I think someone misplaced it this year!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Looking For Spring

After stitching with the FABs this morning, I headed out to the tulip fields--today is the first day of the local Tulip Festival.

It may be 20 degrees out, but we are still within winter's grasp as there are no tulips in bloom yet. The owner of the fields told me that by next weekend there would be "some" colour and hopefully within two weeks the fields will be in full bloom. However, he added that it might be longer as there is snow in the forecast for next Thursday!

On the way home, I stopped to take pictures of Mt. Cheam. It is a gorgeous mountain that overlooks our small town. No matter where you are in town, you can get a view of Mt. Cheam.

I managed to find this small plot of daffodils--the only sign that Spring can't be far off!

9 Patch Pizzazz Progress

These are all my 9 Patch Pizzazz pieces cut and ready to go. The FABs have been having lengthy discussions about block layouts. I am prepared to go with the layout in the book and have cut the following:

From my focus fabric - Merkitties - two 12 1/2" squares, four 6 1/2" squares, one 2 1/2" strip.

From my wave fabric (I believe the author of the book calls this one your companion fabric) - I only had 1/2 yard piece of the merkitties and so I am using the wave fabric to substitute for merkitties. I should have had one yard of merkitties if I was going to follow the pattern exactly - cut one horizontal rectangle 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" and two 2 1/2" strips

From the yellow challenge fabric - I cut three 2 1/2" strips, one vertical rectangle 12 1/2" x 6 1/2", four 6 1/2" squares

From the green and pink fabrics - I cut three 2 1/2" strips of each colour

I managed to finish putting together the top (less the borders) by 1:00 pm (that's starting at 8:00 am). I only managed to make one mistake -- I reversed two of the nine patch blocks. I am not going to change it--as Pam says, IIWII (it is what it is). I made another quick switch and unless you really knew what this pattern layout was supposed to look like, you would never notice my mistake. It is now part of the charm of this quilt.

I am not sure whether I am going to go with the border treatment in the book or if I am going to make up my own border design. sometimes these things have to age a bit and you have to consider options before making a decision.

This was a great way to spend the morning--quilting with Internet friends!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

9-Patch Pizzazz FABs Weekend

This is the quilt pattern book that the FABs are going to use this weekend during our Quilt-In. We won't be making the quilt on the cover of the book (this one is on point). The quilt that we are going to make is called, Lily Pond. Each of us is going to make our own version of Lily Pond or some version very close to this depending on what we come up with on our design walls when we lay the blocks out.

These are my fabrics. The merkitty fabric at the top came from LindaJ. I believe it was LindaJ's quilt group, the Belles, that were making quilts for one of the charities they support as a challenge project. LindaJ supplied me with some of the challenge fabric so I could play along. I never got to making my quilt, so I am going to use this fabric this weekend. The yellow fabric with the blue stars and white dots on the far right was supplied by Pam. Pam sent all of the FABs a piece of this fabric to use in our quilts this weekend. By coincidence, this fabric matches my merkitties, so I am able to use both challenge fabrics -- from different challenges -- in my quilt. Once our quilts are finished, we will be donating them to Pam's M2M project.
There are a few rules for this weekend that we agreed to already:
- It is ok to cut out your quilt pieces and it is ok to sew the strips for the 9 patches...but you may not cut the strips into sets.

- Sewing will start at 8 a.m Saturday. You can choose between central time and pacific time...since we are in 2 time zones

We have sewn together as a group. We use e-mail, digital cameras, and IM to let one another know what we are up to, where we are in the pattern, to answer each other's questions, and to cheer each other on to the finish line.
A couple members of the group are "keeners" and have already drafted their quilts using their quilt software. My quilt layout is still in my head and will not likely get drafted in a formal way. I plan on cutting out the pieces and using a design wall to decide on final placement.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Customer Quilts

Once again I find myself not posting for two weeks. I have been busy quilting--just not for myself.

I quilted this first quilt for a customer to give as a wedding gift to a special couple that are her neighbours. The flower blocks were embroidered with her new embroidery machine. She asked for hearts in each of the floral blocks with waves between the blocks. This is a picture of the back of the same quilt. This picture shows the heart and wave quilting a little clearer.
This is a quilt that I quilted for an international friend. This quilt was pieced by a perfectionist and was a delight to quilt. I enjoyed looking at all the fabrics as I recognize many of them--some were in my stash in the past and some are still in my stash now!
The next three quilts were pieced by the same person. This lady is busy "using up her scraps". How wonderful to give such colourful scraps new purpose.

This quilt showcases a wonderful collection of prints. The piecer of this quilt intends to gift this quilt to a very special friend.
This quilt was pieced by a new quilter--her first quilt! The woman who pieced this quilt is also an expert seamstress and her skills shine in this quilt--there are no mismatched seams in this one!
And so now that the backlog of customer quilts has been caught up, I can breathe and spend a bit of time working on my own projects......until the next wave of quilts arrives anyway!