Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blizzard Juno came a callin'

Hello!  well, we got hit with the Blizzard Juno late Monday into Tuesday.

Here are some images taken on Tuesday morning:

There was some drifting around the window feeder.  There is a bird there, lol.
 The birds are feeding at about knee level.
 coco took one look at the drift at the front door and turned right around.
All that fluffy white snow reminded me of vanilla frosting.  So I whipped this up. A lot of people worry about having bread and milk when a storm is coming, not me.
After some snow shoveling, we shoveled this into our mouths.
 I also made my absolutely favorite soup: African Chicken Peanut Soup.  I'll put the recipe at the bottom of the post.  Thanks to Pauline for the recipe!
 The only sewing I've done is make a little mug rug from a reject block.

Thank you Doreen for making me a Album Quilt Diagram box for my sidebar of the Alice Payne blocks!   I'm working on.  Check out Aunt Reen's Place blog for her ongoing and finished projects.

Thanks to everyone who ordered stencils.  I quickly sold out of the Large Fans, but have them on reorder.   Thank you stamps.com - you've changed my life.
So I get now why they call it a "kitchen table" company.
Thank you for playing my guess the pattern of my Asian Challenge quilt. The key with this one is that I pulled the solid colors from the Asian print, then I used the color once on the inner border and once on the outer border.  There is one red herring in that I didn't reuse the orange.   It was a simple one, but sometimes antique quilts have really complicated patterns.  Next time you see a scrap quilt you really like, try and figure out why.

Congrats to CecileD - the potholder is going off to France!!  Maybe it will get invited to fondu.

I hope you are all safe and warm and enjoying the quiet gifts of winter (or a warm summer in Australia).


African Chicken Peanut Soup

1 1/2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup salsa
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 16 oz cans chicken broth
2 15 oz healthy choice chicken with rice soup (undiluted)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I use about 1/2 cup, cause I like it)

sauté sweet potato, onion, garlic and jalapeño for 5 mins in a dutch oven in a little olive oil over med/high heat.

Stir in chicken and rest of ingredients except peanut butter.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.

Put the peanut butter in a bowl, then add a few ladles of hot soup and mix well.  This will temper it, then add it back to the pot, stir and heat another 2 mins and serve.

recipe from my friend Pauline (who was born, raised and lived in Africa for most of her life).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Big Fun on Hump Day

Happy Hump Day!   I finished the Boy Quilt Top.  I used Sujata's new book.  The blocks were really fun to make.   Hooray, it's all from stash fabric!
My stencils have arrived and I'm open for business at my new Etsy store.  My mailing supplies came and I'm ready to ship.  Thank you, Linda, for being my very first customer!

**Update 1/22/15 the Large Baptist Fan stencils are sold out.   I have re-ordered more and will let you know when they arrive.  I still have the Double Fans.  Sorry!**

Since my main goal was to have them produced for my own use, I've reduced the cost as much as I can, considering the shipping, so that they are affordable.  As I said to Rich.  I don't have to make money, just not lose money.

Nancy, asked me about the quilt that was under my potholder project on the last post.   So I'm re-sharing it here today.

It was a challenge quilt that I made in 2008.  We were each given a 1/2 yard of the Asian print and had to use it.   I added all solid fabrics.  I would call this a modern quilt, wouldn't you?  Imagine, a modern quilt - before the modern quilt movement.  (meow)
It may appear very random, but all of my scrap quilts contain some order.  Can you find the order?  Order always makes scrap quilts more pleasing.  If you figure it out (or make a guess), I'll put your name in to win this custom made potholder.
This backing is one piece but really looks like patchwork.  I wish I had more of this one!
I'm still working on my antler project.  It is proving to be a difficult one and I've had some set backs.  I hope to show it to you soon.

One other bit of exciting news;  I own the domain name FunWithBarb.com.  Now that domain is automatically redirected here to the blog where all Fun can be found.  (sounds like a small thing, but it took me several days ;0 - Thanks again, Anna, for your techy help.)

Good luck in the potholder drawing!  I'll ship anywhere.
Mr. Kittie, Starbuck:  fabric inspector.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole Lotta Nuttin

That's what I feel like doing.  It's been COLD this week and I haven't gotten into a rhythm yet.

Here is what's on the design wall:  Boy blocks and three completed Alice Payne blocks.
My daughter requested a "real" potholder for her house at collage.  I got out my original 1960s loom and cotton loops.  My father made me the long handled hook from a sturdy coat hanger, it works great.
 My husband made these in the 60s too.   Did you?
 I made 3 and now I'm almost out of loops.  I hope I can still find them on line.
My original amaryllis finally bloomed.  It was worth the wait.  It is a beautiful shade of ruby red.  (doesn't it look cold outside?  It is!)
I received a wonderful surprise this Christmas.  My friend, Mary B, sent me her American Doll to join my doll family.  Apparently she was feeling a little lonely by herself in Illinois.

My Annie was so surprised to see her
 She gave her a warm embrace and they spent some time catching up.
Annie decided it was a great excuse to get the whole CT gang together for a big celebration. Invitations were sent to the basement.   Everyone got dressed up and had a wonderful time together.

Champagne and treats were served.

Everyone was on their best behavior this time as baby Emily was there along with other small children including some visiting pets.

What a great party!!  Welcome to the family Kit.  We're glad you are here!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.....Stitching, napping, tv watching, book reading, chocolate eating.....you know January stuff.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fun For Friday - January

Last Sunday, I finally had my favorite New Years treat:  Fondue.     I love love love cheese fondue.  Here is the link to my favorite recipe form Joy of Cooking.
BUT WAIT!  They don't tell you the secret, fail safe ingredient and technique.
After you grate the cheese, toss is with flour and coat all the pieces completely.  Add a little at a time until you see that it all evenly and lightly coated.  I learned this from a Fondue restaurant and it makes your fondue perfectly velvety and smooth - everytime.  Also, get the wine boiling, then slowly add the four coated cheese while whisking.  I like it with green apples and red grapes in addition to the french bread.
Pop Culture is such fun.  Here is how I keep up with what's what in the zeitgist:

My Number 1 go to to see what is new and newsworthy:
I read it faithfully every single week.  Without it I wouldn't find out about new TV shows, Movies, Books or Podcasts.  They also cover music but I'm not really into that (old).

They have recently been featuring podcasts as well.  Here are some that I really like. (you can find them on itunes or their websites)
Best true crime drama series and huge phenom:
If want even more about this look here:
I wake up everyday and listen to this for motivation:
This one is very naughty, but I find very funny.  It's about celebrity gossip and what's trending.
These are perennial favorites:

I'm using a new App on my smartphone for exercise and I'm really loving it.  Who doesn't have 7 minutes a day?
Anna of Thimble Anna, posted a link to this hilarious spoof on Downton Abby.  I almost spit my coffee.  Enjoy!

Here's some Pup Culture:  coco doing the dishes = not very cultured!!
Happy Pop Culture 2015!

Monday, January 5, 2015

For Immediate Release

Good News is always appreciated here.  I was very excited to find out last week that my Jubilee Quilt has been accepted to compete at the AQS Lancaster quilt show.  My favorite part of paperwork is the press release which always sounds so official and serious.    According to the release, the contest will include 200 quilts from 36 states and 9 other countries and be visited by more than 15,000 people.

It is such a great way to start off a new year!  I look forward to attending.  Click here for all the details on visiting the show.


On New Year's Eve I cut and laid out the next block in my Alice Payne quilt.  That's a lot of leaves to baste and stitch!

I've been doing some construction work on house blocks for a little swap I'm in.

I've added a Liberated House workshop (with permission from Gwen Marston).  There is a button on my side bar with a link to my lecture and workshops page.  I'd love to visit your guild and sew with you!

I'm making a boy quilt for a family friend.  I decided to use Sujata's book,  Cultural Fusion, as inspiration for these zig zag blocks.  Check out her blog, The Root Connection, to read more about her book.   The book has many wonderful quilts and photos to inspire any quilter.   (the light is bad today and these colors don't look quite right.)

Lastly, here is coco at her "Howl-a-day" party at doggie school.

I don't know why but these photos crack me up.  She looks so silly yet, so serious!  What a sweet girl.

Thanks for stopping by~

Monday, December 29, 2014

Well, That's Over....

Christmas that is.   It is always a little surprising how fast the whole shabang is over after the weeks of preparation.  Fortunately, there are still lots of cookies, candy and wine to consume :)

Here are a few things that I got for Christmas.  A new sewing chair from Ikea.  I may change the cushion, but for now I like it.

A new Quilt Book.  It is good, more words than photos, but still a good additon to my collection.

Hooray!  Santa brought my custom stencils!  Here is the double baptist fan.

The basic large baptist fan.

And here is one that I designed called "wave length".   The company is adding it to their wholesale on line catalog.

They will not be offering my large fans as they said that quilt shops don't have the room to display them.  No Problem, I will be selling them here at the blog and will add the pricing and order information soon.  I also have to order more as they only sent a sample set.

Not technically a Christmas gift, but I did win an awesome give away from my friend Rachael, at Bluemountaindaisy.  Rachael's blog is always a wonderful place to visit.  Her work and style are a constant inspiration to me.  She makes beautiful things and always has wonderful photos.

I won this delightful group of kittie fabrics.  I plan to make a little Luna memory quilt from them.

She also sent this large piece of bonus fabric~  She remembered that I was really taken by the Shelburne circus exhibit a couple of years ago.  I A-dore this fabric!!  Thank you so much Rachael for a super fun surprise package.


Speaking of Luna, I made this label for my Hot Flash quilt, which included a little tribute to her.  Was a sweet visitor to the sewing room.

 I mentioned in my previous post that I made a wide binding.  It was an after thought.  Here is how I did it:  I cut 4 strips 3 1/2" and pressed it in half.  I  attached the binding in the usual way then I trimmed the backing and batting 1/2" from the edge of the binding/quilt.  It is 3/4" finished on both sides.

I have been using Sharon Schamber's method of gluing the binding down on the back side and drying it with a hot iron.  You must use school glue ONLY so that it washes out completed.  I use a spare amount a bit away from the edge that I'll be stitching.

This makes sewing the binding down a pleasure!

From my home to yours, I hope you had a nice Christmas and have a safe and Happy New Year.

See you in 2015