Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

I finished my Timber and Leaf baby quilt last week. It is now hanging up at Katie's shop with a class all set up for June 27. I am going to be teaching a book club where we make three of the quilts from Simplify by Camille Roskelley. Participatnts will be required to have the book, which Katie has a few copies at her shop The first quilt will be little man, followed by square one, and finally coming home. It will be super fun.

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

I also embarked on a cleaning adventure. My sewing room was a disaster area.

Tackling my sewing room mess today.

So I took two days and cleaned the mess. So much better now.
Clean at last. Now time to getting my sewing room messy with a new project.
I wanted to work on something just for me, so I tried to start working on my Prairie Claw quilt again last night.

praire claw-5.jpg

Only to realize that my copy of the pattern was cut off at the top. My mom and I often share quilt books and she took the book with this pattern back to her house when she visited last. I got a quick copy of the instructions before she left, but I guess I didn't look close enough. Luckily, my mom just mailed the book back to me yesterday. It should be here by tomorrow. I guess I will just have to wait a day to make some progress on that project :)
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Linking up to:
 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A little more organized

Yesterday I decided to clean up my sewing room. It was/is a little bit of a disaster area.

Tackling my sewing room mess today.

I cleaned out my closet and my sewing table and then I decided to get to work on my scraps. I was going to sort them into 6 plastic drawers that I used to use in my classroom. I spent the longest time deciding between sorting by colors and sorting by size.

Early today my husband told me he thinks I just go in my sewing room dump out all my fabric and roll around in and toss it in the air like its money. Looking at this mess he might not be that far off! Back to organizing my scraps. #ABeautifulMess

When I asked my husband's opinion, I was told just throw them all in one basket and call it good to go. After a bit of conversation I stated  in a matter of fact tone, "You have no idea what goes on in here!" His reply was that he is pretty sure that I just dump out all my fabric on the floor, roll around in it and toss it up in the air like money (imagine the duck tales cartoon from way back when) and then put it all away again. Shh... don't tell him but, looking at these piles he might be on the right track.

Last pile of scraps to sort.

I decided to go by color. However, there was one little problem. 6 drawers and 9 colors to sort by (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, gray/back, white/brown). What is a girl to do but head to Target? Excitedly I wandered my way into the organizational isle only to figure out they no longer make the type of plastic drawers that I currently have. Darn company change the design on me. This little discovery left me in a bind, again. I may have had a slight tantrum in said organizational isle.

Making process in scrap sorting.

Later, as I talked to my mom about my dilemma, I realized I only use six of my nine drawers stacked on the other side for fabric. In a genius type moment, I decided to switch which drawers I use for what. Many hours later and sorting 3 boxes of scrap piles I was able to sort through all my scraps.

Phew scrap sorting done. Too bad the rest of my sewing room isn't looking that nice. Oh well. Calling it quits for tonight.

Now my cutting table is still a disaster area but at least my scraps are all sorted.

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Linking up to show and tell

Monday, May 27, 2013

Speaking about comments - How to turn off google+ comment option on blogger

Don't get me wrong, I like Google... but sometimes the things they do annoy me.  There is the whole google+ sometimes turns you into a no reply blogger thing. Don't worry I created a tutorial for that if you are in the situation. Then this whole getting rid of Google reader... not happy about that either. And now google+ comments.

They made it sound so great. Combine your blog comments with your google+ comments and have them all in one place. So of course I made the switch.

However it got really quite around here. My page hits were fine, but the comments were nonexistent. So clicked to see what these new comments looked like. They look cool enough until you try to add a comment.  It turns out that in order to comment you have have a google+ account. I mean its right there in the FAQ.. that of course I didn't read all the way through.

OK So that is bad and explains a lot. I don't want to force people to have a google+ account just to say hey I like your quilt or oh look at those adorable GSDs or just to say hey, but some people must already have google+ accounts, so why am I still not hearing anything for anyone.

It turns out there is another catch. If the person who's commenting has their Google+ set to private or only family or whatever and your aren't in their circle you can't see what post.

So people can post on my blog... but I can't see it... Hmm that doesn't make my blog very interactive. My fault again that was right in the about section. I should really read things through before deciding to change to the new Google+ products.

After figuring out all of this I thought they must tell you how to revert back to blogger comments. Well, If they do I can't find it. After searching for a long bit and it not being where I would have guessed I finally figured it out. Since this took me forever to figure out and I have a feeling others like me may have thought "cool combining comments", I decided to share how to turn off Google+ Comments on blogger. I promise it is much simpler than you would thing, but there is a little trick. Oh yeah and this tutorial is only for those who have made to switch to a google+ profile, because if you are still a blogger profile don't have the option for google+ comments until you make the switch.

First sign into your blog from the dashboard and then look to the left options under my blogs.  Now I know you would think that the comment option is under settings - post and comments, but it is not, so don't even look there. The google+ comments is under the Google+.

Once you click Google+ you end up on a page with your picture and two little check boxes plus a whole bunch of google+ info. This is your Google+ setting page. If you are still on a blogger profile you wouldn't have this page.

To get rid of the Google+ comments unchecked the second box. That is it. Now you are back to blogger comments and you can control those by going to settings - post and comments.

Told you it was easy. That is if you know where to look. If not your could spend say a half hour to an hour of your time trying to figure out how to revert back to a good thing where people can have a conversation with the blog writing with out having to choose to share publicly under google+, which I have no idea how to do unless you share everything publicly.

Ok enough with my rant- have a great day. I hope this helps out someone else in the same situation as I was.

DISCLAIMER - When I did this all my old comments stayed. However, I was just told by someone (01/10/14) that their comments went away. This has been confirmed by others too. So follow these directions at your own risk. The comments may stay or they may go... that is all on google. You just have to decide if the google+ comments section is right for you or not.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Time to Vote - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Voting Time!

Just in case your wondering. My entry is number 2 in two colored quilts category.

Zigzagged Quilt with Suzie inspecting it

There are 15 categories to work your way through. Enjoy looking at all the quilts and voting on your favorites.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Timber and Leaf a Low Volume Baby Quilt

I barely finished binding this quilt before the sun set and all the sunlight went away. Thank goodness it is getting close to summer time or I would have had to wait to share this cute little quilt. 

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

When I saw this fabric I knew I just had to make something adorable out of it.

New fabric for a new quilt for @sewkatiejean

The funny thing is the same day I saw this I was discussing with Katie teaching a quilting class series for the book Simplify with Camille Roskelley at her shop Sew Katie Jean .However, when I was in the store I didn't make the connection that this fabric might be perfect for a quilt from the book.

Making progress

Instead I went home and studied the book for a few days and returned with this fantastic idea. Both Katie and I agreed that this fabric would look great as the Little Man pattern from Simplify with Camille Roskelley. It was just a few days later that I cut into the fabric and started working on the quilt.

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

I do have to say I am very happy with the way this mostly low volume quilt turned out. The green does kind of draw you eye in but I think it is a perfect match. 

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

This is the third quilt I have made using the book  Simplify with Camille Roskelley. I really do like this book. There are at least 2 more quilts I want to make from the book. I even have all the fabric for one of them. Little man pattern was pretty fun and easy. I could see myself making it again. If I hadn't started feeling so bad the last couple months I would have been done with the quilt super quickly.

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

I used Sara Watt's Timber and Leaf fabric line. The thin green fabric is Denyse Schmidt Chicopee. And the backing is one of Basic Gray's grunge fabrics.

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

I had a lot of fun making this quilt and I am happy with how it turned out.

Timber and Leaf Low volume quilt

Quilt Stats:
Name: Timber and Leaf a Low Volume Baby Quilt
Size: 40" X 51"
Fabrics:  Timber and Leaf, Chicopee, Basic Gray (backing)
Binding: Solid brown 
Pattern:  Little Man from  Simplify with Camille Roskelley
Quilting: by me, loop-de-loos  
Started : March 2013
Completed: May 2013 

This is only my second quilt finished this year and both my finish were for Katie... I think it is time to finish something for myself now... We will see about that :)
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Linking up to:
Finish it up FridayLink a finish FridayTGIFFcan I get a whoop whoop, let's get acquainted , Made with love, Craftastic Monday, Made by Me

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gluten Free for me ... equals Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Pork

For many many months of  feeling terrible (having backaches, headaches, spaciness, grumpiness, tummy aches, tummy cramping, over all feeling bad, unmotivated and unproductive) and having a million and one test and procedures done, it turns out that it all may have had to do with gluten. I am sure I still have my kidney stone issue... but..  After seeing a gastrointestinal and having a few more tests done, I was told it looks like you may have a gluten sensitivity. So I gave up the gluten for about 3 weeks and magically started feeling better. So the doctor said avoid gluten.

So I did as I was told and I continued to feel better. That was until I went out to eat with some co-workers. Without even thinking about it I had bean dip with my tortilla chips... I mean really corn chips... beans..cheese... sounded good to me... 5 chips later my stomach was cramping and I feared I would be running to the restroom in a matter moments. So I stopped snacking on chips and specifically order a gluten free meal... surprisingly the refried beans were no where to be found on my plate... why, well it turns out this place uses a cheese sauce that has flour in it. DUH!

After a few days of back to the previous mentioned symptoms. I decided it was time to give up the gluten and all of this left my house. Luckily my dear husband is going gluten free with me... at least at home.

Since it turns out gluten and I are not friends all off these needs to go.

Now of course, a girl like me who loves carbohydrates, started craving everything that I could not have... Sourdough bread - check... sushi with fried shrimp - check.... onion rings -- check... cookies - check... cake - oh yeah.. biscuits and gravy-- I think you get the point. I like flour... a lot. It just doesn't like me so. Luckily I am a pretty good cook and so is the hubby.

So tonight when I was craving sweet and sour pork, which I have wanted since I was told no more gluten,  my husband suggest I look for a gluten free recipe. Thank goodness for the internet. So after tracking a recipe down and going to the grocery store we made dinner.

Makings for gluten free sweet and sour sauce

After making the sauce. We fried up some pork, sauteed some veggies, mixed it all together and had ourselves a delicious take in dinner.

Gluten free sweet and sour pork. Believe it or not it turned out better than some of the Chinese restaurant I have tried.

Believe it or not it was quite yummy. Better than some Chinese restaurants than I have tried and the best part is I didn't get sick. Amazing right!

I thought I would share the recipes. That is just case anyone else out there in the same boat as me and thinks this looks yummy.

Recipe -

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Sauce Adapted from Lucky Sweet and Sour Sauce Lorac

1/4 cup ketchup1/4 cup  brown sugar1/4 cup rice wine vinegar1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch1 cup pineapple juice (from a can of pineapple chunks) 2 teaspoons oil

drop of red food coloring gel (just a little goes a long way) optional

Mix cornstarch and pineapple juice together. Put some the oil in a sauce pan. Add the first four ingredients. Mix until combined and sugar is melted. Add pineapple juice mixture and bring to a boil. Stir frequently until thickened. Added optional red food coloring if you are going for the take out look.

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Pork
Fried Pork adapted from Snap, Sizzle, Cook

1 - 2 lbs pork shoulder trimmed of fat and cut into cubes
1 -2 cups of Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose baking flour (the only one I have tried so far)
1/2 - 1 cup of sparkling mineral water
2  sliced carrots
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped white onion
1 can of pineapple chunks (drained)
Enough oil for frying + 2 teaspoons for sauteing

Heat up a pan with oil for frying. The oil should be a couple inches deep. In a bowl mix the GF flour with the sparking mineral water to make a batter... a bit looser than pancake batter - not to thick or too thin (you can tell when you fry the pork how your batter is doing... you want it to puff up a bit and not fall off the pork when you take it out of the oil).  Dip the pork cubes in the batter, let excess batter drip back into the batter bowl and then careful place in oil to fry. appx 2-4 minutes but it could be longer mattering how big your chucks are and how hot you get your oil. Do small batches of the pork so your oil doesn't cool to much. Make sure to give the oil time to heat back up between batches. Cook until golden brown and pork is no longer pink (check a couple pieces by cutting your fried pork until you get the hang of it) Cool/drain on paper towels. Continue until all the pork is cooked. I had extra batter left over when I was done with my batch. If your batch doesn't seem to be enough add flour and sparking water to make enough for all your pork.

Meanwhile, steam your carrots (I used the microwave, but use your favorite method). The saute the onion and bell pepper in the 2 tsp of oil. Add the pineapple and carrots. Cook until everything is slightly tender.

To finish off place everything in a bowl and carefully toss to mix. I served mine with a side of steamed rice, but of course you could serve yours with anything you like.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Phew... Nicole's Wedding blocks are done

For once I didn't put things off to the last minute. I have all the center blocks sewn for my sister-in-law's wedding quilt.

Nicole's Wedding Quilt Blocks are done!

I am so happy with myself. They still need some squaring up but at least I have them all put together for the guest to sign. Of course I still have the borders to do, but the most important part is finished. That is until they all get signed!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

FNSI Recap

I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to last night. I had hoped to finish 3 blocks last night but instead I spent most of my time redoing the half square triangles. I went to be sometime after 10:30 pm and left most of the triangle pieces looking like this. I just didn't have the engery to add the other triangle and to be accuate enough to get the 1/4 inch above the 1/2 square triangle needed so the point doesn't get cut off.

Nikki's Wedding Quilt Progress

However, I still need to finish these blocks soon. I mean she is getting married in less than a month. So this morning, after I woke up properly, I put together the three blocks.

Nikki's Wedding Quilt Progress

Tonight I want to finish two more.

Nikki's Wedding Quilt Progress

Then I only have the last 3 center blocks to get done before the wedding. However, I am hoping to get them done this week. UPDATE : I so counted wrong. See that lovely stack below... it you look oh so very closely there are actually two different prints there and I still have 5 center blocks left to do.

Nikki's Wedding Quilt Progress

I will still have the flying geese border to work on too, but one step at a time.  Plus she wants the centers of these blocks signed by her guests so at least I don't have get a whole quilt together in a month.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Time to go Sew - It is FNSI

Tonight is Friday Night Sew In.

Handmade by Heidi

I will be working on my blocks for my sister in laws wedding quilt. I am 2/3 of the way done with the center blocks. I am hoping to get 3 more done tonight. 

Working on @nixietink wedding quilt.

Free Class Day on Craftsy

I just found out about this. Craftsy is having a free class day and it is only going on for a little while longer. If you have never taken a class from Craftsy today is the day to try one for free. They are offering select classes that are valued up to S39.99 for free. 

It is great offer for any who likes to create things. Not only do you get a free class but you could also help with a donation to donors choose to help fund classroom projects. I looked at the class list and there are classes for quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, baking, cakes, chocolates and metalsmithing. 

And let me tell you as a teacher who has received funding through donors choose this free class day is even more special because if they reach 10,000 new Craftsy students today and they make a donation of $5,000 to I know when my projects were funded it was fantastic, my kids were super excited and they have gotten so much out of the items I recieved. I am sure that if Craftsy hits thier mark by midnight MDT which is just a little bit away it will make some classrooms in need very happy. 

If you miss the free classes tonight don't despair there are always some great free classes on there and once you sign up for an account you  get newsletters when there are sales. 

PS. Not a sponsored post I just like Craftsy and as a teacher I know how much business contributions help donors choose fund projects for classrooms. 

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Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2013

It is that time of year again over at Amy's Creative Side. It is tiime to share your favorite quilts and drool over everyone else work at the Blogger's Quilt festival. It is running from May 17, 2013 - May 31, 2013, but entries are only being accepted until the 24th.

This year I am entering my Zigzagged Quilt. If you are a regular follower you may have seen this before as it was my first and thus far only finish of the year.

Zigzagged Quilt

I made this quilt in only Blue and Green. There are a couple shades in there but it is only blue and green. Katie from Sew Katie Jean's (a local quilt shop) helped me picked the colors and I made it as a shop sample. She really like the pattern and knew how much I like zigzags so she asked me to make it. I put it off and put it off until she came up to me with a stack of lovely fat quarters saying what about these and I decided to go for it right then and there and had her cut me the yardage.

Full Length Zigzagged Quilt

I decided to put a lot of effort into the quilting of this one. More than I ever had before.

close up zigzagged quilt

Each size zigzag has its own type of quilting. It was a lot of fun to make. Even Suzie likes it. Actually see liked it a whole bunch.

Zigzagged Quilt with Suzie inspecting it

The little stinker even put her head on it while I was binding. I think she thought it was hers.

Binding is done now I just have to move the pup so I can throw the quilt it to the wash.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Zigzagged 
Size: 50" x 70"
Fabrics:  Solids, but the aren't bella or kona so I can't tell you the names. 
Binding: Denyse Schmidt, Chicopee, bleeding heart in green
Pattern:  Zigzagged by Empty Bobbin 
Quilting: Free Motion Quilted by me, squiggles, loops, and paisley 
Started : October 2012
Completed: February 2013 

Special technique - Magic flying geese
Entered in the two color category of Blogger's Quilt Festival

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