Monthly Archives: November 2011

Batik Diamonds

Remember when I said I was playing with scraps a few weeks ago?

I ended up with a bunch of batik diamonds and slapped them up on my design wall in no particular order.  Nothing came to me immediately so my plan was to keep them there until something inspired me.

J came into the basement one evening, saw the diamonds on the wall & asked if he could reorganized them.

When I turned around from the quilting machine, I saw this:

I love the layout!  Now, I just need to spend sometime with geometry to figure the math to finish the top!

On the book front, I read “The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls” in one evening.  It was a great quick read about southern families and secrets told from the various female characters.

Well, Rizzo is telling me he needs some attention, so I’ll wrap this up now.  Dang cat!

Spicy Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful.  Just J & I & the cats.  I read a whole book (Goodnight Tweetheart– very cute book!  Fluff, but not as bad as some fluff out there), cooked up some corned beef & baked this amazing bread:

Spicy Pumpkin Bread
2c. sugar
1/2c. vegetable oil
1/2c. unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1 15oz. solid pack pumpkin
1 1/4tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4tsp. ground ginger
2tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. baking soda
1/2tsp. salt
1/2tsp. baking powder
3c. flour

1. Beat sugar & oil
2. Add eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce- mix
3. Mix in spices
4. Mix in baking soda, salt & baking powder
5. Slowly add in flour
6. Grease 2 bread pans
7. Divide batter between said 2 pans
8. Bake at 350 for about 60-65 minutes.

We did actually manage to stay up to hit the stores at midnight.  Best Buy was a complete bust, but Bed Bath & Beyond and Target had some good deals.  Then after we got home at 3am, I made the big mistake of starting a new book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.  When I realized I was halfway through the book, I finally but it down & went to sleep.  While it’s not the most well written book in the entire world, the subject matter is fascinating (5 sisters who start a business when the Taliban seizes control of Kabul) & it reads quickly.

What’s in store for the rest of this weekend for me?  Some more reading, a little quilting & catching up on my podcasts!

The Week Without Photos

I really was productive this week.

I knitted a baby set for a friend. It was pink & snuggly & cute. But I forgot to take a photo.

I quilted a Christmas quilt for another friend. It was holidayish & fun. But I forgot to take a photo.

Then yesterday was “Sew Day” for my guild in which I had a “backing party” (i.e. me & lots of yards of fabric focusing on the math to make backings large enough for all those quilt tops I’ve made but can’t quilt because I’m missing an integral part of the puzzle because backing math confounds me to no end). I don’t have any photos of the backings (not really very interesting), but I did bring Potato Leek Soup for the potluck, & I forgot to take a photo of that too.

Note to self: Goal for this week: work on taking photos!

Anyways, here is the recipe for Potato Leek Soup. (Just imagine potatoes & leeks in a warm broth.) I’ve been making this since college. It’s super easy & very filling. This has been a hit wherever I bring it & is perfect for those upcoming chilly days.

Potato Leek Soup
1 Onion
2 Leeks
3 Medium Potatoes
1/4 c. Butter
5 cups Chicken Broth
Salt & pepper

– Dice onion & potatoes.
– Slice leeks down the center, wash the insides, chop finely.
– Melt butter in skillet. (Don’t skimp here, the butter adds lots of flavor.)
– Cook onion, potatoes & leeks until tender.
– Place mixture in crock pot.
– Pour chicken broth on top.
– Genereously season with salt & pepper.
– Cook on High 3-4 hrs or Low 6-8 hrs.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post about podcasts! I’ve finally caught up with Pam at Hip to Be a Square & and am now listening to Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us. As I keep finding new podcasts, I’ll share them here with everyone!

Have a wonderful week!

Randomness & Podcasts

It’s been an odd week around here.

I was in a position where everything I NEEDED to do was put on hold for one reason or another.  So one would think I would use this time to finish those other projects I have going that aren’t necessarily important.


I decided to start some new projects.  🙂

Got out my scrap bins & started playing with fabric.  Nothing fancy, nothing exciting, just sewing fabric pieces together.  It was soothing.  Relaxing.  Restorative.

I also moved my furniture around again in the studio.  I think I’m happy with the setup now.

But now time has caught up with me & all the pieces I need to finish my important projects just got handed to me today.  So I’d better get to work.

But one more distraction to share with you before I focus:  Podcasts.

I came to listen to podcasts by accident.  I was planning a 12 drive in the car & wanted to listen to something different.  Decided to download some “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” episodes, when that led me check out crafting podcasts, which led me to quilting podcasts, which is now my company while I’m in the studio quilting away.

Here are some of my favorites (quilting & non quilting related):

The Off Kilter Quilt– funny, down to earth, Frances always makes me smile!
The History Quilter– Susan quilts, gardens, cooks & loves history- who wouldn’t love her?
Hip to Be a Square– Pam is our resident geeky quilter!
Crafty Garden Mom– Tanesha has AWESOME book reviews!
Freakonomics Radio– *sigh*  I will still always be an economist in my heart….
The Mental Illness Happy Hour– don’t be put off by this title- it’s done very well- just try one episode
Life Habits– Another mental health podcast, one of the better ones out there I think.  Very positive focused, it’s almost like having a “life coach” without paying the crazy fees.

So I hope you download some of these & try them out.  If you have podcasts you like, please share them!  Now I really need to get to work!