Monday, January 31, 2011

Life Is Like A Bowlful Of __________________

Check out this wonderful post from my quilting friend Thearica  who is starting to take names for the 2011 Ronald McDonald House Crayola Challenge.  Read her post to see what twist she has added for this years challenge.

For the quilt challenge we need to fill in the blanks for this statement "Life Is Like A Bowlful Of __________________ "   and then chose a color that represent the word in the blank and using any shade of that color and also black and white to make a quilt.

Of course I have signed up but still trying to decide what my color would be.

This is my third time entering this challenge and you can read about the others here and here! At the end of both of these raffles there was a check of $4000 given to Ronald McDonald House in Texas another check for $4000 given to the house at Stanford, CA.

You can see the quilts from the last challenge that used the Life Is Like A Bowlful of _______  theme here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another quilt top finsished

I bought this kits for the blocks for this quilt when I was at PIQF last October from a wonderful husband and wife who also sell on Ebay
Most of the blocks were done last year and last weekend I put the rows together and then did the 2 borders together last Friday night when I was at Open Sew at Eddies.

I just loved the colors when I saw the sample at the booth in PIQF   and now love how this quilt turned out. 

Next decision is what quilt design to use for quilting it, I also wonder how long it will be in the "to be quilted pile"

Trying to catch Santa

I got this picture on Christmas eve, it is my eight year old niece who was on a mission to catch santa by staying up all night in the sitting room under the tree. Aoife fell a sleep long before Santa arrived and woke up about 4am in  the morning amazed that Santa had arrived, left lots of gifts  and had drank his milk and Rudolf had chewed up his carrot.

I love this picture for many reasons and one of which is that she is asleep under a quilt I made for her.

Both Aoife and I love butterflies and when I found this fabric I just knew that I had to make her a quilt out of it.  I love the inspirational message that it provides and I hope Aoife has lots of dreams that inspire her on the journey of her life as she cuddles and sleeps under this quilt which  was stitched with love by her Auntie Leona.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I just love the spirit of giving that Quilters have

My wonderful quilting friend Therarica put out a birthday wish for her 50 th Birthday in November. The wish was to get enough quilts to denote to the Central Children's Home  near where she lived. The request went out to her quilting buddies and the quilts started rolling in. My other good quilting sister, Trish in Australia and I decided to team up and she provided two tops and backing and I would quilt them and bind for her. I had a UFO in my pile that I decided to quilt and donate also. 
Here are  Trish's quilt tops on Lizzie. For the  red white and blue quilt I used a  starts and loops quilt design

And for this wonderful colorful quilt I used a flowers and swirls design.

Here are the three quilts that were donated from Trish and I on the swing on Therarcia porch. Don't they look great.

Thearica wrote a wonderful post when she made the presentation of the quilts to the teenagers who currently reside at the home. Here is a picture of the kids with some of their quilts:

A wonderful group of quilters donated 24 quilts to help with Thearica Birthday wish and I believe that the recipients of the quilts had smiles from ear to ear and kept saying Thank You! 
One interesting thing to note is that Thearica, Trish and I have never met in person but we are sisters in quilting on the HGTV Quilting message board. It just astounds me how giving most quilters  are and  they give freely of their gifts to others in need.

What's cooking?? Sunday!

Sunday is one day that I try and make a nice dinner, sometimes it is a traditional Irish Sunday dinner or a new recipe I want to try. Today I made neither of these but made some spaghetti and meatballs, it turned out really yummy so here is how I made it.

Leona's Spaghetti and Meatballs

What you need:

28 oz can of diced tomatoes
8 oz can of tomato sauce
Cup each of finely chopped carrots, onion and celery
Chopped Fresh Parsley and Basil
Red pepper flakes
2 cups of chicken stock
Olive oil

3/4 lb of ground beef
3/4 lb of ground turkey
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 sticks of mozzarella cheese
More fresh parsley and Basil

  1. Heat olive oil and then add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent
  2. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and add some of the chopped parsley and basil, one cup of chicken stock and the red pepper flakes. Combine well and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer immediately and continue to cook for at least 30 mins ( longer if you have time)
  4. Stir occasionally and add some chicken stock if needed
  5. When cooked, use an immersion blender to combine the ingredients into a smother sauce.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, combine the meat, parsley, basil and parmesan in a bowl, mixing well.
  7. Chop the mozzarella cheese into about 1/4 inch pieces
  8. Take some of the meat meat mixture ( enough to make about a 1 - 1 1/2 inch ball) in your hand and smash it flat, add a piece of mozzarella and roll into a ball. Make about 25 meat balls, try and keep the size consistent so they will cook at the same rate.
  9. Add the meatballs to the sauce and very gently stir so the meatballs are coated with sauce, simmer for about 45 mins. Stir gently occasional as the sauce and meatball combine beautifully together.
Serve with spaghetti and sprinkle the top with grated parmesan, basil and parsley.

It turned out really tasty and the good news is there is enough leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.

Adding the meatballs to the sauce

Meatballs and sauce simmer and combing wonderful flavors

The finished product - yummy yummy!

A new year.......

Wow I have been a very bad blogger it is nearly a year since I posted, I made a promise to myself today that I will update this more regularly to share the creative things I do in the sewing room, kitchen and with my camera.

I took a Photography class yesterday and have began the journey of being able to use my camera (Nikon D40) out of auto mode and now using manual mode. The class was fun and I spent some time today going over the handbook we got, making sure I understand the new concepts I have learn - aperture, shutter speed and depth of field etc. Thanks to Nicole and Tom for a very informative day. Also found this website, Digital Photography School and spent time reading through the photo tips and forum, it made for great reading.

Today it was time to take down the Christmas tree to put it outside to be picked up for recycling and put away the decorations for another year. I wandered the Menlo Park Farmers Market and it really was very chill at 44 degrees, bought leeks and a wonderful looking cauliflower. Grocery shopping was done and I am still amazed how one bag of groceries at Trader Joe's cost me $51.

Busy in the sewing room as I have three projects going in parallel, one is a secret project that I cannot share as I am helping to test a pattern that is going to be published later this year. A group of us are testing the pattern and I am looking forward to seeing how each one turns out.

Another project I am working on is a teal and purple batik ( of course) log cabin with 24 blocks completed and currently chain piecing the remaining 12. I really like how it is progressing as I love batiks, especially teal and purple and I love the layout I picked. Should have some pictures soon.

The next project is also a fun one as you strip piece wonderful 1 1/2 inch strips of Jinny Beyer fabric. Oh the shades of colors in her fabric just makes my heart sing. The quilt kit I am using is called Night and Day and the technique used results in 2 quilts - Night is made from triangles cut from the strip sets and put together with a dark background and the Day is made with the remaining triangles with a lighter fabric.

Some yummy smells are coming up from the kitchen so need to go check on dinner.