Sunday, September 14, 2014

Starting a New Quilt!

Destiny spent a couple of days with us this past week and one of the things she wanted to do, besides hugging Dan, was to buy more fabric for the quilt she wants to make to cover her California King bed. So off to Bolts in the Bathtub, my local quilt shop!

Once we got home, we went straight to my sewing room so I could show her how to cut her fabric for the Turning Twenties quilt that she had decided on. I showed her the first one and offered to lend her my rulers and such that she would need to cut the rest at home....

...but then she decided to cut the rest while she was here -- all done! She has her Bernina 153 at home and thinks she'll do a little sewing after work some evenings. I warned her -- such is a quilting obsession born!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just Took an Amazing Craftsy Class from Angela Walters

When I first started talking with the Craftsy team about becoming an instructor for one of their classes, one of the perks that really piqued my interest was that once my class went live, I could take any of their available classes for free. Access to their whole library -- baking, cooking, quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, photography, etc. -- all mine to learn!

So yesterday I downloaded Angela Walter's class, Machine Quilting Negative Space. I have been a big admirer of the modern quilt movement and love so many of the quilt designs, but have been wondering "If I made one of these, how the heck would I quilt it?" I've seen some great examples, some of which are only quilted with straight lines, and they're pretty stunning to look at. When I saw Angela's class, I had to put my student's cap on and give it a try.

She walks you through sketching and stitching free motion designs and I love that she doesn't worry if the work isn't precise. As I always tell my free motion classes, "If it has to be precise, buy a stencil!" Angela says if it's not precise, just don't stress over it.

This is a quilt that I started in a Cindy Needham "Linen Ladies" class:

There is a great deal of negative space and I was looking for more ideas on how to fill it up with interesting background designs. I wanted it to be a combination of different stitching options, blending into each other as I progressed around the quilt. Fabric used is Radiance (50% silk, 50% cotton) by Robert Kaufman, batting is Quilters Dream Wool, thread is Kimono Silk by Superior.

What I've learned from Machine Quilting Negative Space will definitely help me with this quilt. If you are thinking of quilting one of the modern style quilts or just want to go further with unmarked free motion quilting, here's the link to Angela's class:

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Location:Palmdale CA

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sunshine Stitches -- Omaha NE

Last week, I traveled to Omaha to teach my two day Fluff & Stuff machine quilting class at Sunshine Stitches.

Sunshine Stitches is in a pretty brick building (all we have is stucco here in SoCal, so brick is really cool!). I knew that they sold both Brother and Pfaff sewing machines -- hmmm...30% off on books....that's a bonus!

I was really impressed by the number of quilts on the walls..

...and all of the beautiful fabrics! When I'm travelling, sometimes I wonder if the same fabrics are available all over the country or if there are regional specialties. Every shop is so different -- of course, there was Nebraska fabric here for college sports fans!

Sunshine Stitches has a very large classroom area -- we had 19 machines and students without the room feeling cramped. I still had plenty of room to be able to wiggle in and get to everybody as they needed help. There were also several very knowledgeable staff members in the room to help with the machines and answer the technical questions.

It was a fun two days! Thanks, Becky & Carol!

If you are in the Omaha area, Sunshine Stitches is definitely worth a stop in -- location is 525 N. 155th Plaza, Omaha NE 68154 (phone: 402-504-1345).

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Promised You a Pic....

This was the Macy's ad that I posted on Facebook asking you -- Do you think I can rock this look? Since I only got one no and a whole bunch of yes, I tried on and bought the dress....

I found out it's really hard to take your own picture in a mirror! This is with my own leather jacket....

Of course, since I'm not 6 foot tall like the model, the skirt's a little longer. The lining is just above my knees and I like that, don't think I'd want it shorter. I had some boots that were almost identical to the model's. Think I would wear sheer black pantihose rather than bare legs, though.

So, what do you think?

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Location:Palmdale CA

Monday, September 1, 2014

Don't You Just Love a Long Weekend?

Dan and I took our long-time friend Mikey out for dinner in Pasadena Saturday night. We went to the Derby, a restaurant with an old-time steakhouse vibe and delicious food. We were on the road back to Palmdale about 7:45 and saw some beautiful colors in the sunset as we headed west. Couldn't help grabbing the iPhone and getting some pics...

Then this morning we drove to San Diego (this must have been our "See Southern California" weekend) to have breakfast with our goddaughter Destiny and her boyfriend Nick.

I don't know why, but I just love this bridge just north of Escondido on the 15 freeway. Thought this was probably as good a photo as I was ever going to get.

I'm home for a few days, leaving Thursday to teach my two day Fluff & Stuff class at Sunshine Stitches in Omaha NE. Looking forward to getting back into the teaching groove!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Have You Tried Delicata Squash?

Every so often, Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer shows up in our mailbox. It's a newspaper style booklet hilariously reviewing the products of the season, what new just came in, etc. It is so fun to read that I pretty much read it cover to cover regardless of whether I would really eat/drink that particular item. It's that funny! Those guys have really fun jobs!

One of the items this time was about Delicata squash, so I added it to the cart along with my grass fed ground beef, bison pattys, romaine lettuce, cucumbers and such. Hadn't tried Delicata, so I got three -- one to cook tonight and a couple to experiment with later in a different recipe.

The writeup said that the skin was thin and edible. Unlike butternut and acorn squashes where you need a hacksaw to cut them in half. I halved this one lengthwise with my large chef's knife and then cut each half into 1/4" slices. We quilters know our 1/4", don't we?

After I sliced them all up, I added some olive oil and a few grinds of Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning, a blend of salt, pepper, garlic and spices that seems to make its way into a lot of the dishes in my kitchen. Tossed it all together and dumped it onto a large cookie sheet, separating the slices and spreading them out a little bit.

Then the squash baked at 450 degrees for about 18 minutes; I tossed it about halfway through to redistribute the olive oil.

Aidelle's Chicken and Apple Sausages from Costco were on the second cookie sheet. The squash was already in the oven when I opened the package of sausages, so they probably baked for about 12 minutes and I turned the contents of both sheets at the same time.

The squash came out yummy and golden brown, with a milder taste than either acorn or butternut and, yes, the skin is edible. I will definitely make this again! And Dan was just poking around in the leftovers and informed me that it tastes good cold; that means I can keep cooked delicata on hand for my post-workout carbs. Wonder how long the season is for these -- does anybody know?

I found a recipe for delicata squash soup on one of my favorite paleo food blogs, A Girl Worth Saving -- Paleo cooking from the heart with Kelly Bejelly. This is one of the blogs that I get on the Bloglovin feed, which is the most efficient way to follow all of the blogs that you want to, including this one, without having your inbox clogged up! I get one e-mail a day, with the latest posts from all of the blogs I follow -- love this!

Non-teaching weekends are made for cooking -- tomorrow I'll make the soup!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Addendum to Kids Learning to Sew

Sammie was doing such a good job at the machine -- she easily learned how to select stitches and how to use various features of the machine. She LOVED the automatic scissors when she was appliqueing the trees to the table runner.

I complimented her on how well she was doing and she said, "This is easy, Nana -- you just have to tell the machine who's the boss!"

She's a natural, don't you think?

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Location:Palmdale CA