Sunday

What's on the design wall?

After a table runner marathon month, I look forward to moving on to my other projects. Although I still have 6 table runners quilted but not bound. They will have to wait because I need a break from them - ha!
Atlas fabric
I've been working on this quilt called Just Kisses at the senior center. I discovered that I enjoy my time at there more when I have a quilt project ready to go. So this project only gets worked on when I am there which is just one afternoon per week. After a month and a half of listening to the ladies say "are you STILL working on that?" I can finally say it's close to the finish line.

I made the 67 required blocks at the center however I do need a design wall to put the quilt top together. So my plan is to do the layout at home but sew the rows columns and rows together at the center.

I am really loving these blocks. The colors are not my usual selections. It's a pleasant reminder that I need to add more variety to the colors in my fabric stash.

Friday

Pavlovas

Schaum TorteWe went strawberry picking last week and I realized that I needed to do something with the strawberries I did not freeze. They were sitting in the fridge and I worried about them getting too soft.

I've always made strawberry pies, jams or shortcakes but I really wanted to try something I never made before. I remembered a wonderful dessert I had at a restaurant during winter called Schaum torte. I've never had it until that day but my husband just raved about how his grandma used to make it for their Sunday dinners during his childhood. How lucky.

I found a recipe online for Pavlova. It looked exactly the same as the Schaum torte I had eaten except that the Schaum torte was piped into a nest shape and the Pavlova was just dolloped into its shape but flattened out in the middle to look like a nest. I had to give it a try.

As you can see from the photo, it was a great success. I had to make a strawberry topping that was similar to pie filling bit a little thinner. Freshly whipped cream was the perfect addition to make it exactly as in the restaurant. All I have to say is that this recipe is a keeper. And it wasn't terribly complicated, in fact, I had all the ingredients at hand - no special trips to the grocery store!

Individual Pavlovas with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream and Raspberry Sauce

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fresh mint , for garnish (optional)

Raspberry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 18 oz fresh raspberries (frozen would work too)
  • 1/3 cup water

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly add in sugar mixture (I just continuously added 1 heaping tbsp at a time one right after the other), then increase speed to high and whip until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes, adding in vanilla during last minute of mixing.
  2. Spoon and dollop meringue into 3 to 4-inch circles (depending on how large you want them) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets then use the back of the spoon to create slight dips in their centers. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes, then leave in oven with door closed, turn off oven and allow to rest in oven 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. To assemble, top meringues with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream then Raspberry Sauce and garnish with mint. Assemble just before serving.
  4. For the raspberry sauce:
  5. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in 1/3 cup water. Add half of the raspberries, then cook mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in remaining raspberries. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
  6. For the cream cheese whipped cream:
  7. In a mixing bowl whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then add sugar and vanilla and whip until nearly stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese to whipped cream mixture and whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday

Client Quilting Projects

Today I quilted two quilts for a client. It's been raining a misty annoying rain on and off all day so it's a good day to be inside. Normally being inside on a summer day is not something I like to do. Warm weather season in Wisconsin is short so I try to enjoy every moment of it. At least being indoors has made me productive in my sewing room.

Friday

Table Runner Progress

I quilted 18 table runners over this past week. I've been using up all my food-related novelty fabrics to make these.

Hopefully I can get the binding on all of them before my long arm gets delivered. I'm pretty sure that once the long arm comes I'm going to forget all about sewing for a while.

Tuesday

Husqvarna Sold

I sold my Rose today to a nice woman, MaryJo who's friend told her it was a great machine. I agree, it is a great machine. I hope MaryJo gets as many years of pleasure sewing on her as I had. She is a work horse and a wonderful machine.

Thursday

Amara!

I did it! I bought a longarmer today. I still can't believe it. It's a dream come true.

The shop that I purchased it from is called The Quilting Connection and it is located in Elkhorn, WI. It's a 45 minute drive from my house and because they do many quilt shows and spend time setting up machines, their shop is by appointment only.

I called first thing this morning hoping to get in early in the day but they were out setting up a machine. They called and stated that they would be back in the shop by 3:30 and I could come then. At the time of their return call I was babysitting my granddaughter and we were swimming. I still said yes I would come today even though I felt covered in chlorine-laden pool water. The hair just frizzes up under those conditions.

I got to the shop at 3:50 and left with a signed contract at 5:05. Wow! What an afternoon. So now I await confirmation that the machine is being built and sent to the shop for setup. Then they will contact me to pick a delivery date to my house. My sewing room is ready and I can't wait!

Monday

Batik Modern Quilt

I finally hand-stitched the binding on this quilt. I completed the quilt top over a year ago and until recently, I hadn't found the time to quilt it. I even had the backing pieced together for a very long time.

The quilting went quickly; I used variegated thread to compliment the colors in the fabrics. I used a meander to quilt it. Then I sewed the binding on and again, I let the quilt sit. All I needed to do was turn the binding over and hand-stitch it down and it seemed that once gardening season came, I just could not find the time.

It's been raining and chilly outside the last few days and that gave me a moment to get the hand-sewing part completed.


Saturday

Poppy Bag

Tomorrow I am attending a veterans picnic where our American Legion Wisconsin state auxiliary leader will be honored for her successful year of leadership. She just so happens to be a member of our local post and she comments to be regularly about how much she likes my poppy bag. So today I thought I would make her one just like mine.

The funny thing about my bag is that I didn't really use a pattern as much as I just copied some dimensions from another bag. So when I made this one I just got out my bag, measured it and made some improvements based on my bag. The one thing I really wanted to change is that I wished I would have used some heavy-duty interfacing. So I got out my decor-weight iron-in interfacing and ironed it to the inside pieces of the bag.

I put the entire bag together in just one afternoon since I've made so many before this one, it went pretty quickly.

The bag has a nice long shoulder strap and some interior pockets as well as the big outside pocket. the top is zippered shut so nothing can spill out. The interior of the big pocket and the bag lining is made with pretty paisley fabric that matches the outside of this bag. I sure wish I would have taken a photo of the inside of the bag.

I hope the bag is a nice surprise.