Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Preparing Seeds for the Seed Library

I have a small plot at a local community garden.  I love it because there's a fence around the whole garden and it keeps out the deer and other animals.   All the plot owners are expected to support the gardens by volunteering.  I've had some fun jobs.     This week, the community gardens organization have some exciting news.  They have been given space in the Fredericton Public Library for their seed library.  The official opening of the Seed Library is this Friday.   So that means, this past weekend, a small group of volunteers prepared small packets of seeds that will be stored in the Library and will be free to those who want them.   

Caitlin and Aurora came with me last Saturday to help to prepare the seed packets.   They really did help a lot.  Aurora stuck colored dots on the seed names.  The different colors indicate how easy or hard the vegetables are to grow.  Caitlin cut out the individual labels that will go in the bag with the seeds.    Then we all counted and bagged seeds.    The other volunteers were pretty appreciative and impressed with the girls hard work.  
Later on after our volunteer work was done, the kids were eating an orange for a snack.   Who can resist using your orange wedge as a mouth guard!  


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tarte Bourdaloue - A French Pear Desert

The kids came over for supper last Sunday.   We had a lovely supper.  I came across this French Pear dessert on pinterest and thought it would be nice.

I made it and totally missed the instruction that called for a hot glaze.  So it's not shiny.  I'll do that next time.. But it was delicious.

It was a little weird to make it.    The recipe follows.  Besides being translated by Google, can you see what is odd about the recipe.   

--------------------------------------------
Tarte Bourdaloue
For the pastry:

  • 120 g flour 
  • 30 g almonds 
  • 62 g butter 
  • 65 g sugar glace 
  • 30g egg
Almond cream:

  • 50 g soft butter 
  • 50 g sugar 
  • 50g almonds 
  • 35g egg 
  • 15g Maizen a rum (optional)
  • 5 pears in syrup 
  • Sliced ​​almonds for the Topping
In a large bowl place the flour with the icing sugar, butter and almonds, grind everything with your hands until a "crumble". Add the egg and work the dough until it is mixed well. 
Shape into a ball, flatten and film, refrigerate.
Whisk together all ingredients for the almond cream.
Preheat oven to 160 ° C (180 ° C with my mom, so depending on the power of your oven you choose the better).
Roll out the pastry on floured surface and line the pie pan.
Spread the almond cream on the pie shell. Finely chop the pears, lift them with a knife, look slightly with the palm of the hand and place them on the star-almond cream.
Spread the almonds on the visible dough and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pie is golden.
-------------------------------------

While professional bakers wouldn't have it any other way, I found it weird to be weighing all my ingredients instead of using my standard measuring cups.   And if you want to know how much 30 gm of egg is, it's half an egg.

Kitting up a Bionic Bag...

In March, I made a Bionic Bag out of scrappy on-hand fabric to test out the pattern.  I like it.  I bought fabric to make another and before it gets way down on my to-do list, I thought I'd cut out the kit.  There are lots of pieces to prepare for this project.    I find it easy to print the cutting page, and tick off the cuts as they are done.    
   

It doesn't look like much in this baggie, but there's a good hours worth of preping fabrics, matching colors, cutting, etc.  I'll buy the zippers, and then it's ready to sew up.   

You know, I find it cathartic.  After all that, I am all pumped up to make this now.   


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Presenting: Winter Wallets

Over the past year, I've been leading wallet classes.  The class participants have been making the wallets out of Batik fabric since it's just plain nice, it's a nice tight weave, and there is little or no direction to it.  



These Winter Wallets are made from the same pattern, but have a totally different yet pleasing look.   They are made out of recycled wool, mostly from old men's pants or jackets.    Most of the focus is on the flap, so it's fun to figure out a simple design.  They feel so nice to carry. 
  



If you have any old wool suits you'd like to recycle, why not try a wallet?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Presenting: Picasso's Muse

While south over  the winter, I decided to finish a hand-stitched project that I had started last fall.  It's a sketch that Pablo Picasso did of his new young wife.

After tracing the design on the old looking fabric, I hand stitched her using brown Valdani cotton floss.  

I always wonder, is it ok to mix hand quilting and machine quilting on projects?   To finish this, I did free motion all around the hand stitching.  I like it.  It might not have gotten finished if I didn't machine quilt it.  So for me, it's a good mix.

For the background, I used a pumpkin seed free motion quilting design.  The thread was beautiful fine 100 wt thread and when you look at it from the front, you can hardly see the stitching let alone the thread.  So I take this photo from the side so you can see the design.

I loved seeing the pattern emerge as the light was streamed through the window over my sewing machine.

I just love her.  Her name was Francoise Gillot.




Sunday, April 26, 2015

Elm City's Smart Wallet Class

We had another successful wallet day yesterday.  The Elm City Quilters are a very experienced group of quilters.   They live handy to me, so I drop in on them when they have their work days once in a while.  In addition to a nice little bit of socializing, they do everything that is current and many projects that are favorite classics.    
   
Marj giving assisting Christine, while Lucy watches too.  
Elm City invited me to teach a wallet class yesterday.  There was 14 in the class and I am so  pleased to report that they all got their wallets done.   A special thanks to Super Sewer, Marj who helped a few of the girls through some tight spots. And isn't that the beauty of doing this type of complicated class in a guild workshop setting. You will get help one way or another.   You might want to know, that with Marj's help, Christine was the first one finished in this Wallet class.   Great work and a beautiful wallet Christine!!!      

Charlotte was very focused.  
Her wallet was made out of Laurel Burch cat fabric.

Now that's concentration Sandra T.  

Voila, 14 wallets.  Done by the end of the day.
(ok.... I'm only counting 12, who's missing?)
Do you think Blue Batik  is a popular color? :)
My next local wallet class is July 17th.   It is part of the EdVentures program here in the City.   If you are interested, here is the link that you can forward to a friend.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Quilts

I did a shift at the Fredericton Quilt Show yesterday.   Oh My.  It was beautiful.   I took a few pictures of some of my favorites.  I know Linda H. took fabulous photos of everything so when she has them on the FQG Blog, I will provide a link here.    But for now, here are a few of my favorites.

When you are close to Margie Clouston's quilt, you don't really notice
the diagnol pattern.  Step back,and wow.  It's wonderful don't you think.

I loved this quilt of Diane Ramsey's.  It's like a Pumpkin Seed on Steriods.

Gwenda Mattinson made this entirely from scraps.  It's just beautiful and big!

Oh Sandy.  I loved your challenge piece.   Those skinny vines are to die for.
I love how you used the challenge color of purple in a delicate way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I love that Pfaff Bi-level foot

Usually I'm applying a binding with one of my favorite Pfaff feet, the bi-level binding foot.   Today I was sewing on a temporary sleeve on a quilt for our guild's quilt show this weekend.     This quilt is already bound.  So when I move the needle over to the far 0 position, set my stitch length to a 6, which is huge, my machine  bastes in the ditch.  

On the back is the temporary sleeve.  I did hand stitch the bottom of the sleeve with a big stitch.   

Both lines of stitching will come out easily after the show.

I hope to see you at the show.   I will be there on Friday.  

If you are looking for details about the show, please visit our guild's blog page here.  It will give you times, directions etc.  






Friday, April 17, 2015

Presenting - Attic Windows - by the St. Anthony's Quilters



Dolly, Alice, Alice, Paulette, Doris
A great Quilting Team at St. Anthony's

While I was away this winter, the St. Anthony's Quilters spent their Wednesday afternoons stitching away at this sweet Attic Windows Quilt.    This single bed size quilt top was pieced and donated by Willa MacLean.   I went to quilt this week with the girls and was so thrilled that it was just being finished and it came off the frame that day.  I will bind it this week after I find some dark blue fabric  
This quilt will be raffled off by the church committee starting later this summer.     Many thanks to Willa and the St. A. Quilters....  We will put another quilt on next week.   Stand-by to see that one..  It's nice.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gearing up to teach!

I'm excited to be back into the swing of things.   Take a look.  I've added a teaching link to the right hand side of my blog.    Since I am away most of the Winter, Spring and early summer and November are my prime teaching season.

This week I'm preparing to teach a Smart Wallet class at the Elm City Quilt Guild, a local guild.    I'll be seeing the students this Saturday to give them their kits and instructions for the class on the following Saturday.    These are very experienced quilters.   This class is a perfect way for these gals to stretch and learn a few new techniques.  

I'm kinda excited to get back into the swing of things after the winter away.  I've made all new samples, and even found a few more simplifying techniques.

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Pfaff Class

In the last year, I was working with some girls who own Pfaff sewing machines.   The whole idea was to learn more about the machine and feet.  We did this by making small projects - usually two or three hour projects.   We were a small group meeting in each others kitchens.   It was nice and intimate and projects get done quickly.  

But have had a number of people hear about it and ask if they can participate or start a new kitchen group.   This got me thinking about having a Pfaff workday in a larger venue say once a month.   I am hoping we can have up to 15 people participate.

I have a venue selected but I have to check out the costs, outlets, lighting etc.  I'm planning a "test" class for later May or early June.   I have a the project all picked out that would be perfect for our first "new venue" class.  

This nesting bowl project can be completed in a 4 hour class.  This is my sample.  Participants will get a good bit of utilizing their IDT to machine quilt (not free motion) these nesting fabric bowls.   Once they get through these bowls, they will have the confidence to machine quilt other larger projects such as placemats and table runners.  

Do you own a Pfaff? Are you local?  Maybe you would like to learn some new skills.     If so, let me know and I'll add you to my list.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm home, now what!!

Well, we've been home for almost a week.  

After our 3+ day drive north, we've been busy with all kinds of errands.  unpacking, laundry, cleaning, groceries, dentist, Insurance, Taxes, more groceries and volleyball games.     We are finding it cold.   We wear two sweaters in the house all the time.    The air is dry.   I get nose bleeds easy.  

But it's nice to be back where my kiddos are.   I got some really good hugs this week.   It's hard to do that over Facetime!!   Miss Aurora is visiting us for the weekend.  We are spending a bit of time in my sewing room.

She has picked out 5 item of American Girl doll clothes outfits that she wants.   I have 5 Simplicity patterns.  She matched up each pattern with the fabric that she wants me to make the outfit out of.  It's all organized into ziploc a bag.  She has 5 kits ready for me.    

In between my regular projects next week, I'll pull out a ziploc bag and make one.    These doll cloths are a bit friggy to make, but I like making them because they are relatively quick.  The next time Aurora comes for a visit, she'll have some new doll clothes.  

She wanted me to show you the kits.