Friday

The Table Runner Saga

Over the course of the summer I made a bunch of table runners. They sat and sat in my sewing room because I didn't have enough green to make the binding for one of the runners and I didn't have enough of the floral print for the binding for another and then there was a third one I didn't bind and I  can't explain why. Anyway the sat. And sat.

So finally I was determined to get them done. Last week I scraped enough floral fabric together to finish one of them - and yes, there are more seams in the binding than I like. I took the other one with me to the fabric store and was determined to buy 9 inches of something that matched - and lo and behold there was a nice green grunge with a speck of blues that worked perfectly. So that one was completed. And the one that just sat got done too.

Phew!

So now I have 23 new table runners that I want to photograph is a creative way so I can call this project completed. I have this great idea to hang them all on my clothes line and get on a ladder and photograph them from above so the volume and the colors create a dramatic scene. And it starts to rain.

And it rains again.

So today the weather looks good - well good enough, I think. So I head out to the clothes line. The clouds start to roll in and I'm worried that the weatherman is wrong about today's forecast. I keep on hanging the table runners on the lines. It takes forever because it's pretty windy. I am determined to photograph the runners during the times when the wind settles down. So I wait.

And I wait some more.

It turns out it's not going to stop so there's not going to be any ladder climbing in this photo shoot. The wind gusts will knock me over. So this is the best it is going to get.


I am officially calling this project completed.

Saturday

Butterfly Quilts for Kids Quilt

My daughter made this appliqued quilt a while ago. She tried to quilt it on her home machine. But as a hand-quilter she got frustrated with the process and quit before she got too far into the process. Once I got my longarm she wanted to give it a try. So we ripped out the few machine stitches he sewed and put it on the longarm. Using variegated thread, it was free-motioned and finished in less than an hour!

Tuesday

In and Out Quilt

I finished binding this quilt today and I am happy with the color combination and the final result.The whimsical prints are fun and interesting. I think the swirls in the quilting are a nice contrast to the simple square blocks.

It's a pretty large quilt and will make a nice gift for a teen.





Saturday

Easy Addition Quilt

I sewed the binding on my easy addition quilt today.

Quilts N More magazine

That completes quilt #4 that I saved up and quilted on my longarm machine.


Both the backing and the binding are made from fabrics that are not in the quilt top. 


I thought that made the quilt more interesting since there is a lot of white space on the quilt top.

This quilt pattern is from the Quilts N' More magazine - Spring 2016 issue.

Monday

My 2 Vacations

I am a lucky girl. I went on two vacations this month. The first was a girlfriend trip. There were 5 of us in a gorgeous high-rise condo in Marco Island, Florida. The view included the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the waterways of Marco Island on the other. What's not to love? I was there from August 10th through the 14th. It was a wonderful time and a nice reminder of how much fun it is to be a girl.




Once I returned my husband and I immediately started packing for our motorcycle trip called the Legacy Run. It raises money for a college scholarship fund for children whose parent was killed in action post 9/11. Many veterans and civilians participate in this great event. The motorcycle ride started in Hutchinson, Kansas. Besides Hutchinson, the overnight stops were in Independence, Missouri. Spencer, Iowa, Austin, Minnesota, Onalaska, Wisconsin, then ending in Minneapolis. We needed and day and a half to get to Hutchinson so our first night was spent in Cameron, Missouri. Yes, I was 15 minutes away from Hamilton, Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Co but there was nothing I could do about it because we were with a large group and on a tight schedule. It was torture knowing I was that close. We had a group of 8 motorcycles with us on our route to  Hutchinson. The Legacy Run had 240 motorcycles with 45 passengers in all. It was quite an event. Besides the overnight stops we had rest stops in many cities where the entire town came out to greet us. It was amazing. We were gone from August 17th through August 24th. That was a long time to be gone and I was happy to get home even though I loved every minute of the trip.


Topeka, Kansas


Cameron, Missouri


Hutchinson, Kansas


Rochester, Minnesota


Onalaska, Wisconsin


Galesville, Wisconsin

I've been home a few days now and I am still exhausted. What a fun and exciting month I had!

Thursday

Mary's Wreath Wall Hanging

I quilted this wall hanging for a client today. I free-motion quilted it once I loaded it on my frame. It sure was easier than using my sewing machine. I don't know how I got along without my new longarm machine.



Wednesday

Gracie and Annie Quilts

I quilted this little girl's quilt today using a pantograph called Daisy Doodle.



The red little girl fabric is called Gracie was a small piece that I really wanted to highlight. So I chose to make one large star that incorporated every single part of the fabric.


I also had 5 yards of the red dot so it worked well for the backing and binding. I like how it turned out and I think I will try this technique again when I have a good focus fabric.


I also had a piece of green little girl fabric called Annie. I chose to highlight this focus fabric in a simple square block because I had a little more of it than I had of Gracie. 


I used a pantograph called Carnival #2 to quilt it. I also chose a thread called Omni-V which is a variegated heavier thread than usual. It took a little fine-tuning to get the tension right which was a good lesson.



Monday

Tag-A-Long Quilt

Another Bite of SchnibblesThe binding is on the tag-a-along quilt now so I can officially call this my first completed quilt on my longarm. I love how it turned out. The pattern is from the book Another Bite of Schnibbles.

When I ordered the longarm, I started stacking up all my quilt tops to finish when it arrived. Little did I know that I would end up with 7 quilt tops. So it's going to take me some time to get all caught up!


Another Bite of Schnibbles

Another Bite of Schnibbles

Saturday

Cindy's Charity Quilt

I quilted my friend Cindy's quilt using a pantograph called Adrift. The quilt is for a charity event that she attends in early September so I needed to get it done as quickly as possible. I was happy to be able to do it before leaving for my vacation next week.




Friday

Baking with my Granddaughters

My daughter went on a girlfriends' camping trip this weekend so we had our granddaughters, Chloe and Avery with us from Friday through Monday. One of the things on Chloe's agenda was baking a 'cake of chocolate', as she called it. Chloe is in the background frosting her 'cake of chocolate'.


We couldn't bake a cake for Chloe without baking one for Avery too. Avery prefers vanilla to chocolate so she had to have some fluffy white frosting for her cake.


Avery likes to be silly so before spreading out the frosting I had to take a funny photo of her. She had to add sprinkles to her cake after she frosted it too and Chloe had to add mini-chocolate chips to decorate the top of her cake.

Wednesday

In and Out Quilt WIP

I quilted my In and Out quilt on my longarm today. I used a pantograph called Carnival #2 to quilt it. It's a large quilt but on the longarm, it doesn't take very much time to complete at all.



Saturday

Lincoln Quilt WIP

Today I quilted my Lincoln quilt on the longarm. I used a pantograph called Alfalfa.



Wednesday

Sue's Quilt

On Monday Sue quilted her Quilts for Kids quilt on the longarm. Here she is as she is rolling the quilt to get to the last row.


Sue came to classes with me and I am happy to have her help me learn my way around the new machine. 

We go to quilt expos and open sews together and have enjoyed many years of friendship even way before quilting together. I am so glad to call her my friend.

Monday

Easy Addition Quilt WIP

I loaded my Easy Addition quilt on the longarm today. I used a pantograph called Kandinsky to quilt it. The pantograph was very large making this big quilt go quickly.


Saturday

Tag-A-Long Quilt WIP

I loaded my Tagalong quilt on my machine yesterday and quilted it within a few hours. I used a nice large pantograph called Petal Power. It sure was fun to quilt on my new machine.


Wednesday

The Longarm is Here!

My machine was delivered today. It made for a stressful day as it took more than 5 hours for the job to be completed. The floor was pretty uneven so leveling the frame took the longest. Once that was accomplished, the rest went pretty easy. The other problem was that I didn't leave enough room for the frame. I followed the specs that were given to me however it did not take into consideration that there would be handles on the back for pantographs. That changed everything. So once we moved my sewing table, it was all good.

I left the ladies to do the entire set up without interruption. So I didn't take any photos of the process. So here's the only photo I took today. It's after fabric was loaded to practice on. I changed the pantograph a few times to try some out and that was enough for today.

Monday

Longarm Thread

This thread bundle came in the mail today. It was a part of the deal I got when I purchased my machine. It's exciting since I'm getting so close to having my longarm here. Today the thread comes and tomorrow I spend the entire day in class to learn how to use the machine. And the day after that the machine gets set up.

I didn't realize until this box came that Superior Threads makes so many kinds of threads.

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.