Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm Still Celebrating!

The girls had stuff to do during the week so we all got together tonight and went to P.F. Changs for dinner. It was delicious.

We had the nicest waiter. I think at one time or other, somebody mentioned it was my birthday to the poor guy. He was a doll and brought us this delicious dessert. You usually get those itty bitty shot glass desserts but we got the whopper, complimentary.

Deep fried bananas with coconut ice cream, drizzled caramel sauce and berries. Well that's what it used to be. Now it's this...........

As if all of that wasn't enough to add a pound or two to the scale (and my hiney), I have been having such a craving for white cake with buttercream icing. I guess my birthday brought it on. I used to make cakes for every family occasion but don't really do them anymore now that all the girls and nieces and nephews are grown. My girls asked me if I wanted a birthday cake and I said "That's okay. I'll make my own." :o)

I didn't take the cake with us to the restaurant and didn't have any room in my belly for cake after that delicious meal. I guess I'll have some tomorrow to celebrate Super Bowl. I'll let you know how it was.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Finished Feathered Star

I finished my Feathered Star from the class at Road to CA. I have done lots of paper piecing but this was a little bit different with the pattern paper pieces. It's not as friendly to the seam ripper. :o)

It finished at 10" so I'm going to find a frame to fit it and hang it up somewhere. Now back to the stack 'n whack UFO. I've been such a social butterfly lately. hehe

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's all true, Honest!

Eeegads, Angela tagged me for the Honest Scrap. Why would someone call something "honest scrap". You know what it sounds like to me? I think you know. Say it a few times. I think you'll get it. lol Anyway, I have to reveal 10 honest things that I've never blogged before. Well, I only blog about things that have to do with food or quilting so this shouldn't be too hard, should it? It's going to be hard. I can tell. I'm in deep bandini. I'm also supposed to list 5 of my addictions. Then I'm supposed to choose 5 more friends to tag. I don't even know if I know 5 other bloggers.......well, here goes:

  1. I'm a collector. Everywhere I look in my house, there's a collection of something. My poor kids have their work cut out for them when I go to quilty Heaven. Just looking around my sewing room right now, I can see collections of buttons, thimbles, dolls, magnets, sewing machines, pincushions. Can you imagine what is in the rest of the house? Sheesh...

  2. I hate cleaning and would be just fine with Pig Pen (from Charlie Brown) as my little buddy. (As long as he didn't get my fabric dirty!)

  3. I've got big feet (10 1/2) and little boobs. Good thing I'm not built the other way around or I'd fall over. lol

  4. I love rainbows. I would practically cause a car accident to try and see one while I'm driving.

  5. I love to bake. I would bake something every day if I could eat it and not gain a pound. Since that isn't the case, I just don't do it. But I love the process and everything about baking except washing out cups after measuring Crisco. I hate that part!

  6. I don't understand women who don't craft. I just don't. How do they get that feeling? You know the one. You made something with this stuff. And it's beautiful. You did it! How can they live without that feeling?

  7. I'm the worst Mexican in the USA. lol I can't speak the language, I don't like cheese (this seems to be a big deal to most people lol), some of my friends even say I don't look Mexican. I think they're crazy cuz that's all I see with this nose and cheekbones but whatever.

  8. I love my big sister even though she's bossy. :o)

  9. I wish I could invent a way to lose a pound every time I ate a piece of chocolate. If I could do that, I would weigh -150 lbs. LOL

  10. I met my husband at a place we both worked. I asked him out on a date to a concert. We were married 10 months later and will have our 32nd anniversary in August. If you ask him how we've made it this long, he'll say it is because of him. He's very modest. :o)))

Now.....five addictions - fabric, ribbon, dollies, internet and red. Anything red but mostly kitchen stuff. Red handled stuff, red bowls, red dishes. See, it's an addiction!

Now who to tag? Okay, I don't really know five bloggers who haven't already done this so I invite anyone who reads this to try and list 10 things about yourself. It's not easy, let me tell you. I learned a thing or two about me. My sister, on the other hand, is going to read items 1-10 and say, "Yeah, I knew that, especially #2!!!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Liz! It's your birthday. What are you going to do?

I'm going to Disneyland!!! Well, I actually "went" to Disneyland and it was a great day. My daughter Stephanie has an annual pass so she offered to take me there if I could get off work early. I did, I was, we did. :o)

It was a perfect day at the Happiest Place on Earth. A wonderful 73 degrees and a very light crowd. Perfect!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle was beautiful with the lights on.

There was a lot that was different from 23 years ago, when I was last at Disneyland. Hard to believe, I know. And I live 10 minutes from the place. Ridiculous. But Main Street looked about the same. And they still have an ice cream shop so of course, we had to have a sundae to celebrate my big day.

As we were leaving, Stephanie said we had to get on the sidewalk so I could see the display windows. She wanted me to see one in particular. My girls sure know their mama. :o)

And my oldest daughter's best friend shares my birthday today so I looked online for a greeting to send her. These Youtube videos are cute. Ahhh, such creative minds. Happy Birthday Brenda. Gobots and silly little dog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sewing Night

Thursday was sewing night with my group of friends. The regulars are Neena the die hard because she almost always shows up. Sherrie the happy wanderer because she is always traveling somewhere, either for football or just because she can. And there's Debbie. Hmmm, what can I call Debbie? Maybe Debbie the Delinquent because she's not here very often. hehe

Neena brought over some blocks she started working on a while back. She got them pressed and squared up. Debbie didn't bring anything over to work on so I was so kind as to put her to work. I'm nice that way. :o) I had some 5" nickels for charity that I got from ladies I swap with on Backporch Friends. I had started sewing them together into a top but it needed another row to be a bit bigger. I had Debbie do that to finish that one up.

She got that one row sewed on that quilt and then sewed up another batch of squares for quilt top number two.

Here are the blocks Neena sewed together. This is going to be a basketweave type quilt. It's so pretty. I can't wait to see it when she gets the blocks sewed together.

I worked on quilting on my stack `n whack while the girls were busy doing their projects. I baked these little bundt cakes for dessert. They could've used a little glaze but I didn't see that on the recipe until the plates were empty so guess I'll have to make them again. The girls didn't complain. :o)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hands All Around

I thought I would share a little bit about the classes my sis and I took at Road to CA last week. The first class was a block that we both have been wanting to make for a long time but haven't done yet because of the curved piecing. But the instructor, Sharyn Craig, made it a piece of cake. Here is a picture of her blocks that she had on her sewing table. The main part of her blocks are all one fabric but with a scrappy background. Aren't they delicious?

This is my sis (left), Sharyn and me in front of one of the beautiful quilts Sharyn brought to share.

Isabel and I live about a hundred miles away from each other so we each have our own sewing groups we belong to. Road is one of the few quilty things we do together and we look forward to it each year. We can usually always find a class we want to take together but some years we've each taken one on our own....but the shopping is ALWAYS the highlight. :o)
Here are a couple of quilts from the Hands All Around class.
If you'd like to see more photos, you can go to my webshots page here. I posted more of her sample quilts she brought and our finished blocks. The class was 8:30-4:30 with a lunch break from 12:00-1:30 and we only finished one block. I think we should've done less eating!!! LOL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I shopped til I dropped....

Really! Man, my feet never hurt so bad. I thought my little sketchers would be fine but ouch, not the best choice to wear for a day of shopping and quilt watching. I put over 200 pictures of the Road to California on my webshots page. If you'd like to see some gorgeous quilts, check it out here. You won't be sorry, I'm sure.
And even though I thought I didn't possibly need even one fat quarter and didn't know what I would spend my money on, I managed to find a few things.

I did my part for the economy. :o) I guess you could see that, huh? I tried to get a few things from my local shop, Cozy Cottage, to help support them and the rest was easy findings. Got a couple of kits that were too cute to pass up. It was great fun with my sister Isabel. I'll post a few pictures tomorrow from our class with Sharyn Craig, Hands All Around, and our mini feathered star.
Today, I got in my sewing room and tried to put things away and get some cleaning done. This is something that has been driving me crazy and I got to it today.

This is a half piece of a ceiling tile (those white cottage cheese looking things from offices). I have a couple layers of batting and then a piece of muslin over it. It's the perfect size to press little pieces of fabric or fat quarters and I can put it on the side of my cutting table when not needed.
This is what it looks like now. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Isn't it purdy? (It doesn't take much to make me happy. lol)

And this is why I needed to replace the muslin.
I couldn't put these adorable little aprons on that ugly stained ironing surface. I bought these at Road. They were precut and go with a little pattern to make a wall hanging. The pattern and aprons were sold separately. I figured since my sister had matched up the apron with the tie fabric before she left, I would go ahead and iron them on the square of fabric for the background. You need a 4 1/2" square piece for the background so I pulled some white on white charms from a swap and ironed them down.

I will save them like this for now since I'm trying to get a few ufo's done. I'm still not sure if I'll do the blanket stitch by hand or by machine.
Well, just wanted to catch up on "stuff". Back to my quilting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting Ready for Road to CA

My sister and I are taking some classes are Road to California, So. Cal's big quilt show. We're doing two classes on Thursday, the Hands All Around class with Sharyn Craig and a Feathered Star, which we've both always wanted to make. Below are my fabrics for the Hands class. We're only supposed to get two blocks done in class so my brilliant sis said, "Why don't we just make a table runner so we don't have another UFO." She is a finisher and not just a "topper" like me so I thought I'd take her advise.

We're staying the night and Friday we'll see the gorgeous quilts and shop the vendors. Cha-ching!!!! Today it was 84 degrees and it's supposed to be nice all week and into the weekend. Should be nice for some of the out of state vendors.

Okay, I just stopped by to say hi. I'm going to try and stitch a few stars on my stack 'n whack. Stitch and I go. :o)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chip, Chip Away

A few days ago, I blogged about a quilt design I was going to try and put on a UFO, my pansy stack 'n whack. The design is from a plastic quilting template. I traced it on tracing paper to get the design right in the space of the quilt. My sister, who has machine quilted more than me, told me to stack my pieces of tracing paper on top of each other, take the thread out of my machine and drop the feed dogs and stitch through all the layers. That way when I'm ready to quilt the corners of the quilt, I can pin each pattern on the corner and stitch over it. I think it'll tear off easily because, one, it is tracing paper and two, I've already stitched the heck out of the pieces so they're perforated. So here's the close up of the stitching process. Here's a view a little farther back. I just stapled the outter edges (through all the layers) and it stayed together fine.
And here's the back of the paper after all the stitching was done. You can see I didn't do it perfectly. It won't be perfect on the quilt either but I have to let go of that "perfect" thing and get into the "Git 'er done" thing!!! :o)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My New Banner

A while back I was looking through some pictures from the Long Beach International Quilt Show this summer and saw the red and white antique quilt I'm now using as my banner. The quilt was in a booth and I just loved it and the tiny hand quilted stitches. I asked the booth owner if I could take a picture and she said yes.
Anyway, the banner was huge but I didn't know how to make it smaller. is kind of limited that way but for me, a "dabbler", it works pretty good. Just plug in the stuff you want and presto, you look like you know what you're doing.
Well, a lady named Debi organized a blog giveaway deal that about 60 bloggers are participating in. I went in and looked at some of the blogs that are offering prizes and left a few messages according the guidelines. One lady, Terry, from Terry's Treasures, replied back from the message I left her. She was very nice and said that she noticed with the banner I had it was hard to read my title (BusyLiz) and the note beneath it. She had a program and she hoped I didn't mind but she changed the font and centered the title and then attached it to the reply she sent. She hoped I didn't mind? Don't you think that is the nicest thing ever???? I did. I saved the banner and ta-da, I look like one of the big kids now! :o)
I'm gonna pop a little fat quarter or something in the mail to her. Quilters are just the best people, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Little Soldiers

Look at my little safety pins....all lined up like little soldiers. I hate sandwiching quilts this way but I forced myself to do it. I want to work toward getting my first UFO of 2009 done and this is the way to hit that goal. My buddy Sherrie has a longarm but I think I'm going to use that feather pattern in my previous post. I think I might have a little more control with my Juki machine so we'll see how it goes. I'll keep this post short so I can go get busy before it gets too late. I need to make the patterns for the corners. Stay tuned (but don't hold your breath). lol

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday Playday

Two of my girls came over yesterday. Daughter #2 works at a hospital and usually has the weekend shift so she was among the missing but I guess if they come over in dribbles, I never have a chance to get lonely. :o) The youngest and her boyfriend came over and did their laundry and packed up her Wii game she left here last weekend. No more bowling for me unless I go to the bowling alley! lol

Kelley, my blogging artist daughter, came over to play with her Gocco machine. She drew up a little vintage couple of kids and will foof them up in some fashion or other for Valentine's Day. You can read the whole story on her blog but this is my version. :o) Last time she came over she used all my white cardstock but we both forgot about last time....until this time. lol So after she drew up her little design and went to print it....uh, paper? "Mom, I forgot paper." And I ask, "Didn't you use all my paper the last time?" "Oh." I dug out some cards that you can get at Michaels that come with the envelopes. The Gocco printed up nicely on that type of cardstock. So Kelley got to printing but then you end up with all these cards with wet ink. What to do, what to do??? You get clever!

It was a nice day and I had the window open anyway. Good ol' mini blinds. Sooo many uses. lol

While she was printing away, I whipped up a little tube bag thingy for her to put her plastic grocery bags in. Of course, I didn't think to take a picture but it's okay, it wasn't much. Just a hunk of fabric with elastic at the top and bottom and a ribbon for hanging. Then I played around with some quilting designs for a top I've had for-e-ver!! I'm hostessing a UFO Challenge to encourage the Backporch girls to finish some of the project that have sat around way too long.

This top is at least five years old! I'm determined to get it quilted. I'm not sure I like this desing so I may just stipple it. Quilting! And I used to think making the blocks was the HARD part!!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I was domestic today....

It doesn't happen often. I must have really been procrastinating about packing up the Christmas stuff because today I made two loaves of homemade bread and beef stew. Whatever it takes to make my pretty decorations stay out a little longer. :o)
I have to share about Tupperware measuring cups. I had a set back in the 70's when I was first married. They were those lovely colors of yellow, orange and green. Actually, I think those colors are back in but I'm not going there again. Once was enough! :o) Anyway, I loved them because of the sizes included the set. There were six and over the years I've lost one or two. Before the holidays, I was invited to a party and ordered a set in red. Oh la la, who can resist red? They look orange in the picture but they're not, it's more of a cherry red. Mmmmmm!

Back in the day of making buttercream icing for cakes, when I would double or triple a batch, it would give me odd measurements for the Crisco, like 1/3 or 2/3 of a cup. Have you noticed unless you go to some high falootin' baking place, you only get measuring cups in a set of 4; 1/4 cup, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup. And when measuring yucky stuff like Crisco, the last thing I want to do is measure 1/3 twice for 2/3 of a cup! Yeah, call me lazy but it's twice the work and I don't bake that often. I want it to be fun, not extra work. The TW ones come in 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1 cup. I used them today to make the bread. The recipe is pretty easy. I'll include it in the end in case you're trying to procrasinate doing something else. LOL
I got a new KitchenAid mixer for Christmas so I used it for the dough. This was the first "rise" in the oven with a tray of warm water underneath.

This is after the second "rise" and waiting for the oven to heat up for the baking.

And here's the finished bread. I only ate about 5 slices with butter. Ohhhh, my achin' belly. LOL

Here's the recipe. If I can do it, you can do it! :o)

White Bread

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 2/3 c. warm water

1/4 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. salt

3 Tbsp. shortening

9-10 c. all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 3/4 c. warm water. Sitr in 2 2/3 cups water, sugar, sal, shortening and 4 1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Mix enough of the remaining flour (first with spoon, then by hand) to mkae dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl turning greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. The dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll each into a rectangle, 18 x 9 inches. Roll up, beginning at the short side. With the side of hand, press down on each end to seal; fold under loaf. Place seam side down in a greased loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. Brush the loaves with butter. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Heat over to 425. Place loaves on a low rack so taht the tops of the pans are level or slightly above the center of the oven. For even browning, the pans should not touch each other or the sides of the oven. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are a deep golden brown and sould hollow when tapped. If the loaves are browning too quickly, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the pans and coolona wire rack.