After the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, life seems to return to normal–for me, it's back to work and cooking with the leftover Thanksgiving ingredients.
Tonight's risotto was made from shiitake and white mushrooms from the chestnut-sourdough stuffing and extra leeks from the veggieducken ... with the last of some open Chardonnay. Risotto is not so photogenic, but it was tasty. I had dinner on the little table in the studio. You can see that my bookshelves still need some organization. I'd left the latest lotto block–an improvisational mug block–out on the table as a reminder that I intended to make more blocks this month ... and am quickly running out of time to do so.
As usual, when I choose some non-traditional block or technique that pops into my head, I have no idea if anyone will like it. So far this month, 98 blocks have been made, so I think I found at least a few fans.
If you'd like to check it out or try one yourself, the link to download the directions (and block lotto guidelines) is here:
I loved the strong graphic quality of the Holiday Lane pillow and didn't intend to add a thing ... but I couldn't resist adding some of the polar bears from fabrics in the collection that were too large scale to use in the pattern. Those two houses at the end of the lane had no details ... and the polar bears just moved in.
In the photo on the left, you can see the other small change I made–since I used a stripe for the pillow flange, I cut the strips longer and mitered the corners. I also added a couple rows of stitching at the edge of the flange to add just a bit stiffness to the un-quilted element.
When I first saw the announcement for the Holiday Lane pillow blog hop, I knew it would be a perfect holiday accessory for my little red sofa.
Since this project is hot OFF the design wall (begun on Saturday afternoon, finishing touches added yesterday), I'm linking with Judy Laquidera's Design Wall Monday. Check it out to see the holiday (and other) projects others are working on.
I bought the Magic Mouse for my iMac when my original wired mouse died a couple months ago.
When the batteries in the mouse died on Wednesday night and I couldn't find any replacements in the house, I figured the universe was gently telling me to spend less time sitting in front of the computer this holiday weekend ... a lot less.
Living life without a mouse kept me a way from blogging, too ... though, if you're curious, the Veggieducken I made for Thanksgiving turned out picture perfect, if a little bland.
No mouse and no blogging meant no mention of the Holiday Lane blog hop, which began on Wednesday.
The projects have been fantastic and definitely worth checking out. After wandering out this afternoon and standing in a ridiculously long line at JoAnn to buy a piece of felt for my own 11th hour effort and picking up batteries for my mouse, I can share this set of links of projects posted so far with you, in case you've missed them elsewhere:
Aside from venturing out for felt, I've had a great afternoon making my version of the Holiday Lane pillow. As 11th hour holiday projects go, this one is easy and fun and completely do-able on a saturday afternoon. I think Jill Finley's pattern could easily be adapted to make a great table runner or wall hanging or row quilt.
My reveal day is Monday ... I hope to also reveal the project I'm making from the bonus triangles ...
I'm not one for following a pattern exactly, but I challenged myself to do so for this one ... even though I had many tangential ideas along the way.
Come back on Monday to see how well I colored inside the lines ... this time :-)
It looked like an interesting recipe, but I have never before seen one of the banana squash which plays the role of the turkey in the veggieducken and thought my chances of finding one in Santa Fe were quite slim.
Today I made a quick stop at the Farmer's Market ... and look what is coming home with me (as soon as I finish my late breakfast at the Flying Saucer Cafe.)
As I finished my shopping, walking around with this monster squash cradled in my arms, everyone had a comment or a question--Is that a squash? What kind of squash is that? Wow that's a big squash! The best comment came from one of the growers in another booth.
"This is the first time I've ever had squash envy."
Lately I have been working on projects OFF the design wall ... and doing things which often feel more like UNdoing rather than doing.
In addition to ripping out the failed attempt to long arm on a 40's inspired sampler quilt, this weekend, I replaced the binding on an old quilt–my album quilt made from the group of block choices for the Block Lotto in it's first year in 2002. I used the faux-piped binding technique where the binding strips are made from two fabrics, one slightly wider to form the piped illusion. There is a good how-to tutorial here: Suzie's Magic Binding.
Black and white quilts are challenging to photograph. I had planned to take mine onto the roof deck and throw it over the wall in the sunlight ... but mother nature had other plans and it was just too windy for anything except this shot ... and cold enough that climbing under that quilt to warm up had definite appeal.
Here is a close-up of the finished binding–sewn down by machine on right side of the quilt and, below a photo of the quilt showing all the blocks.
All the blocks are identified, with links to Marcia Hohn's patterns on the Quilter's Cache site and to the photos of the lotto blocks made from them on the Block Lotto site in the 2002 Lotto Block Index.
This quilt was finished in early 2003. It's 58 x 72 inches and has been a well used throw. The old sampler is holding up pretty well.
To see what others are working on, on and off the design wall, check out the links on Judy's Design Wall Monday blog post.
It feels like time moves faster between now and the end of the year. Some days, I think I can see the days flying off the page-a-day calendar, like the passage of time in movie.
I'm glad I only have a few gift projects to finish up in time for giving–enough to keep me busy but not stress me out :-)
Today I went looking for this happy FQ packet of holiday fabrics. It was a door prize at a meeting of the Austin Quilt Guild that I won just as I was deciding to leave Austin. It was thrown into a box of fabric just as it was and unearthed today, months later, still wrapped up in a bow.
You can see most of them on Robert Kaufman's site here.
Earlier this fall, I joined the Holiday Lane Pillow blog hop. With some additions, I think most of the fabrics will find a home in this project.
I came. I stood in (a long) line. I really didn't mind. Somehow, it makes me feel good that people in my community are making the effort to vote.
One woman got a call from her daughter who had just finished voting for the first time. "First time voter," she announced to the line. Everyone cheered. She explained the cheering to her daughter on the phone, "Everyone remembers the first time they voted."
I finally reached the library of the local middle school where I voted. After casting my ballot, I collected the "My vote counted" sticker and headed off to work.
If you are a US citizen, I hope you have already voted or WILL vote today, too.
Check-in and Security were a breeze ... With time for dinner before the long trip home.
Updated to add that after only a fruit smoothie at the show for lunch and 5 hours of travel a head of me, I ordered big ... but didn't managed to finish half the plate. I was hungry ... but I'm not sure what I was thinking.
There was no line at the cupcake food truck, Little Miss Cupcake, because they had ...
There was no one in the Colouricious booth because they had sold out.
Anyone who had sought them out experienced a bit of a scavenger hunt to begin with since they had switched booths and were 10 aisles away from where the program said they were ... this note sent you a few aisles further to another vendor who sold their products ... and had enough supply of them to last through the show.