A Matter Of Time

It was only a matter of time until:
Spring and Spring Break arrived.
I have time to explore the fibers and fabrics in my 'work room'
I bought a Rigid Heddle Loom.

My birthday is in March. My husband and I buy our own birthday presents. Something we have done for the past few years and it's fun. It has to be something significant and that feeds our avocation.
In his case; golf equipment.
In mine; another toy for the quilt room.
After some deliberation and research, I decided on a 24" Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom. It took me about a half hour to put together. I also purchased the stand which I would recommend. My thoughts are to tackle the volumes of yarn scraps and impulse yarn purchases. Well, in fact it is doing just that. There is a learning curve, so I watched plenty of YouTube clips and bought a couple of valuable books. My first warp was not that successful so I removed it and tried again. Perfect. Let the fun begin. I started with a random variety of DK yarn and before I knew it  I was created fabric.
I also purchased an online lesson on Craftsy which was very helpful. It was a half-price special offer. ( I don't think I would have bought the full price version). I never purchased an online lesson before but I have to admit I really thought it is very good and I can refer to it anytime I please for a refresher.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with my first sample of fabric so I made a simple purse out of it.
Then it was only a matter of time...say a few minutes, before I was off and running to see what I could whip up next. Thinking placemats.

And then a table runner.

I think my knitting needles are jealous.



The musical is done. Spring Musicals, a rite of passage in most Music Departments around the U.S. All musicians are in high demand, especially pianists. I didn't direct this year, but instead accompanied and directed the pit orchestra. There is nothing like live theater and High School shows. Any thing can happen and it usually does. It's a great thing for students to experience. So many aspects come together and work in perfect harmony. The work involved is mind boggling, but it is worth it. 

Now I can return to my avocation. Since I have had little time to quilt or get involved with complex projects, I managed to do another wool felt candle mat. It's a project that is very satisfying to me as I enjoy hand sewing and it's quick as well. Pretty little free pattern online. I adapted it to my own liking and colors. I think I need to make one for all the seasons. Little shamrocks and celtic designs would be festive!
I'll ponder that.

And since it is not spring quite yet in New York State. We have had an amazingly warm winter. However with the arrival of March, it seems winter has finally arrived so therefore I can place my table mat for about 3 more days where we have a forecast of temps in the 60's. It is still a wintery day here though and so to conquer the "let-down" that musical productions generate and since I haven't baked for a few weeks due to all of those rehearsals, cookies are in order. Chocolate cookies. I discovered a new favorite:
Thank you Martha. Grammy's Chocolate Cookies (recipe is on Martha Stewart's website)
Just don't over bake these babies. They will be hard and crisp (but perfect for those who like to dunk their chocolate cookies!)
I alos made these cookies half the size that is suggested in the recipe. I like small cookies.  Undercook them a little and let them sit on the baking sheet. 
Some things are made for each other
Cold weather and cookies.
Cure for the 'post show'blues and chocolate.
Shades of Blue and Chocolate Brown.
I just love it when a plan comes together.
Perfect harmony



Just a mad rush to the first day back at school. After one day back, I know my projects are going to slow down considerably. It's musical time again with after school and weekend rehearsals.
So the last projects and the newest are being posted.
First, a simple pair of fingerless mittens made for my hairdresser who found some yarn and gave me license to make any type for her. A bulky locally made yarn of mohair and wool. Very imperfect wool, but she'll appreciate them. I personally don't own fingerless mitts, but will make a pair now that I see how handy they can be. Found the free pattern "Ursus" on the internet through Ravelry. The pattern did not have thumbs on them, so I created a bit of a thumb extension.

I also made a couple of biscuit baskets using the Aunties Two biscuit Basket pattern. Fun stuff, although not that easy. It was a tad tedious turning all the tubes, but makes a nice gift. I made 3 miniature ones for Christmas gifts (my own adaptation) but only took a picture of one of those. I like to buy my patterns at Create For Less.
Finally my pride and joy. A baby quilt I started during the summer and finally finished. I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to quilt the project and finish it. I juxtaposed circles all over the quilts squares and I love it. I used plates and lids from all sorts of things around the house. This is a baby quilt for my dearest colleague who teaches with me. She is expecting her 2nd baby any day now and I cannot wait to give this to her. I know she will love it. It is a quilt from Judy Martin's scrap quilt pattern book called 'Newport Beach'. I used scraps from my own granddaughter's quilts that were full of primary batiks and blenders. It was so much fun to make. I had some striped fabric on hand with all of the colors and made a bias binding which really touches off the excitement of the quilt.I love how the primary squares 'float' on the quilt.

...for Kylie Sue and babe.


New Year's Eve Dinner...delish dish

I love it when I come upon a new recipe that knocks the proverbial "ball out of the park".
I'd love to have a houseful of guests over. I'd love to party till midnight. But then I think to myself, "oh, the work" and then " but all I want to do tomorrow is quilt and sew and read and relax.....".
Since Mike and I love our food and wine, the question was what to make. I have made countless New Years Eve meals of filet mignon. Well in my search,  I came upon this highly rated recipe from The Barefoot Contessa; Ina Garten.  Lobster Pot Pie. A meal in a dish. Sounds perfect. And little did I realize how much so until we tried it. Downright succulent. This recipe is a keeper and it's now in my recipe file forever.
I downsized the recipe by a third since I only had 8 oz. of lobster meat. (I used good quality frozen lobster meat that was processed in Maine.)
It made three individual casseroles, which took a little creative license on my part, but I made it work. (The recipe calls to make it in one large casserole dish.)
Here they are ready to go in the oven.

Out of the oven. They are beautiful and smell delicious.

A thing of beauty.

The candles are lit.

The table is set. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne is poured (our favorite!)

The verdict is in. Superb!
I was in bed by 10:30 p.m. No midnight revelry for me. Awake at 5:30 a.m. quilting a baby quilt for an expectant mother. I simply cannot help myself and I am quite comfortable with that. Best yet, the only thing that is hung over this morning is my cat, Lily. I can live with that, as well.


Endings. Projects and the year 2011

 It's December 30th and after a quick trip to a fabric store to stock up on thread at 50% off I headed off to the sewing room to finish projects.
This cute table runner is made from all of my assorted Christmas scraps. It ended up nicer than I imagined. I thought it would be a bit too busy, but it works and I will set it aside as a gift for someone next year. It is one of the designs from a pattern I used earlier call Little Charmers II (Anka's Treasures designs) . I didn't use charm squares, obviously.Went together in a flash and is as straight forward as can be.

 I also finished a purse. I've already stuffed it with my wallet and phone. Awesome purse pattern. The pattern is from Four Corners Designs and is called The X bag. Neat construction with pockets created from the bag pieces overlapping each other and sew together on the sides.
I fused decor bond interfacing to my fabric which I won't do again as it made it too stiff, although it is nice, but makes it difficult to sew through the thickness of the side and bottom seams. I will make this using quilted fabric next time.
I am in love with this fabric from Marcus fabrics.

By the way. I bought 40 spools of thread. I'm ready for 2012!


Post Holiday Rush

I'm in only one rush....to get as many projects finished and started in one week as possible and loving every minute of it. The pre-holiday craziness is exactly that for a music teacher/musician. Evenings and weekends are tumultuous between concerts and rehearsals. The kids are more than excited at school which makes for exhausting days. Once Christmas Day is over I feel a little like Gollum from Lord of the Rings as I gaze at my week long break and start reciting, "My Precious". I have made some very cool things in all the haze of December. And I will post these projects as they become finished projects.
Our Christmas tree this year was cut from our hill. This is our 5th Christmas in our new home and every year we have put up a tree that was found on the property. We love it's little imperfections, in fact it makes it perfect in our eyes.

The presents started going under the tree and I realized that I had insufficient wrapping materials this year. I am a huge blog follower and bookmarked a blog a little while ago that was about making homemade bows out of fabric. Well, it was fun and easy once I got the hang of it.

 Look at the cool fabric bows I made. I now have a use for the strips of fabric that I keep throwing in my fabric bin. I had only time to make a few of these, but I think I will make several and set them aside of future gift giving. 

A gift certificate for my mother presented me with a "how do I wrap this" challenge. It was simply a sheet of paper with information from the website that I gave her a gift certificate. In fact I had to cleverly make it look nice and print it out. I did not want to slip it into a regular business envelope so I used the same idea as the bow and made an over sized envelope out of fused fabric (like the bows). I used a yellow business envelope, gently took it apart and used it as a template. Voila! My mom loved the envelope and she is going to store things in it as it is useful and sturdy.  Perhaps old Christmas cards or pictures or it can be re-gifted for someone else.

 Well off to the races. I have mittens and quilting and sewing projects, "my precious"!


Carve out some time and the turkey.

Have you ever had someone professionally carve your Thanksgiving turkey? Well it happened this thanksgiving at our house. My sister's boyfriend offered to carve the beautifully roasted turkey and after we agreed he immediately left the house to his car and when he returned he was armed with his professional carving knives. The real deal.
Well, in the time that it took for me to make the gravy...say 15 minutes.... the turkey was completely carved and carefully laid out on the platter like none I have ever seen before. Not a speck of meat left on the bones and better yet, no post turkey clean up. It was awesome! (and the leftovers are wonderful.)

Haven't tired of using my yarn stash for dreaming up hats. Even with busy Thanksgiving preparations I was able to carve out the time to make a couple more. I'm not a Black Friday person at all. I stay home and stay mellow and ignore all the nonsense. I'm not completely innocent, however.  I did check out online quilt and yarn shops.
 Lisa's Hat by Green Mountain Spinnery. Pattern purchased on Patternfish. Made from Organik (ecru)yarn and Elann Peruvian Highland (green).

Trifurcate Hat by Hunter Hammerson. Also purchased from Patternfish. Made from the leftover yarn from The Quince and Co. Solstice cardigan.