Archive for April, 2007

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Feathers in the Heart of Texas

April 24, 2007

Y’all think I’ve been snoozin’, don’t ya? Because I haven’t posted in a week. Well I haven’t been snoozin’… not all the time. I’ve been busy sewing borders and a backing for a quilt. I think I have the quilting design all figured out too. Here are a couple of sneek previews in the form of sketches.

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We’re supposed to have severe thunderstorms here in SA this afternoon so I may keep my machine unplugged today and start the actual quilting tomorrow.

Maybe I’ll get a haircut today! 🙂

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One Step at a Time

April 18, 2007

My son, Michael, turns 14 years old today! His birthday cake request is for cheesecake. He has good taste! I have decided to forgo the cheesecake in a box route and instead am going to make a real, baked from scratch, Chocolate Swirl-top Cheesecake! Woo Hoo! I’ve had this recipe for a long time but I don’t recall ever having made it. It is a bit intimidating but I am going to tackle it today for Michael; one step at a time…

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1. Mix up a graham cracker crumb crust

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and press it into a spring form pan. So far so good.

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2. Blend the cream cheese and sugar. Yum!

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3. Separate the eggs. A little tedious but do-able.

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4. Add the egg yolks to the cheese mixture, one yolk at a time.

One yolk at a time?

Yikes, those last two yolks went in together. Oh, well no one will ever know!

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5. Whip up the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry and pour on top of the cheese mixture. It’s a good thing that I started with a big bowl!

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6. Whip up the whipping cream and also pour on top of the cheese mixture.

7. Fold all together carefully.

It is about this time I am realizing that none of these steps are so terribly hard, it’s just that there are so many steps!!

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8. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture into the graham cracker crust. Drizzle in some melted chocolate and swirl with the tip of a knife.

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9. & 10. Repeat step 8 two more times.

11. Bake in a slow oven for 1 hour 5 minutes. That’s about how  long it took me to clean up all the pans, bowl, mixer, blender, spoons, cups, and counter tops!

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12. After baking, turn the oven off and let set for another 1 hour and 5 minutes.

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Finally, Viola! Chocolate Swirl-top Cheesecake! Did I mention that it is low calorie and fat free? NO? That’s because it is loaded with calories and fat!!

That’s OK, you only turn 14 once.

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Happy Birthday, Michael; love you!

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12x12x12 Portfolio Challenge

April 16, 2007

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My design this month began as a pencil sketch in February.

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I then machine pieced it out of hand dyed cottons and machine quilted it.

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I am very happy with it, even though there are a few things that I would do differently were I to do it again. I didn’t take the time to plan out the piecing before I started piecing it so I ended up with some inset seams which I do not like. I think I could have avoided those if I had planned ahead. So next time I will plan out the piecing a little better. Also, when I started quilting it I figured that it was too small to need to be SID’d. As a result, it does not lay as flat and smooth as I would like. So next time I will definately SID first.

I had so much fun with this one that I am planning to use this same design, with variations, next month.

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Lincoln’s Dream

April 13, 2007

I read an interesting story about Abraham Lincoln this week. I read it in a book called The Story of the World, Volume 4: The Modern Age. And this is how it went:

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Just days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his forces to Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln woke up from a nightmare. In the dream he had been wandering around the empty White House. As he wandered he saw no one but he could hear wailing and groans. ” The silence was broken by… pitiful sobbing.” Soon he entered the East Room. There was a coffin resting on a stand guarded by soldiers. Lincoln asked the soldiers who was dead and one soldier replied, “The President. He was killed by an assasin.” And Lincoln woke up. It was only a few days later that Lincoln was assasinated at Ford’s Theatre.

I had never heard this story before. It sends a shiver up my back when I think about it.

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WIP Wednesday

April 11, 2007

Subtitle: Little to Show

Oh, I’ve been doing lots. I just can’t show any of it yet. I’m sure you know how that goes. One project is a customer piece and I don’t show customer’s work until they have seen it done. Another is a gift and I don’t show gifts until the recipient has seen it done. The third project that I have been working on is my 12x12x12 piece for April. It is done but my reveal date for it is not until next Monday. Since I have no work in progress that I can show today, I will pull out an oldy, but goody, to share.

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I have always aspired to creating realistic landscape art quilts. This quilt is one small step toward that goal. I made it while working through Cynthia England’s book, Picture Piecing.The wallhanging is titled, amazingly enough, Strawberries and is 6 1/2″ x 8″. The strawberries look solid and actually look like strawberries. I like the way the background is shattered and I like the color combination. I felt that I had really accomplished something when I finished it in 2005. It is a long way from Ms England’s beautiful masterpieces, but like I said, it is one small step.

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Happy Easter!

April 8, 2007

A happy Easter to everyone!

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Name That Flower

April 7, 2007

I planted this vine in my back yard last year and it immediately died. Or at least I thought that it died. Our recent spring rains have apparently brought it back to life.

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Can any of you gardeners out there name what flower it is?

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Progress!

April 6, 2007

Progress was slow this morning on my 12×12 quilt for April. I have not pieced anything since January. So it was hard getting into the groove of piecing again. It’s amazing what a few months off will do. But here is the progress I made:

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And more progress later in the day:

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A-Z’s of Homemaking

April 5, 2007

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I pulled this meme from Dee’s blog; more than you ever wanted to know about my homemaking habits!

aprons – y/n? No, never. I probably should though, I’m a messy cook!
baking – y/n? Yes, I love to bake bread and cookies.

clothesline – y/n? A clothes-what?
donuts – ever made them? Yes, I used to make them with my mom when I was much younger. She doesn’t make them any more either.
everyday – one homemaking thing you do everyday? Does quilting count as homemaking?
freezer – do you have a separate deep freezer? No.
garbage disposal – y/n Yes, love it!
handbook – y/n? No, one didn’t come with the house.
ironing – love it or hate it? If it is quilt-related I love it. Otherwise I hate it!
junk drawer – where is it? Well, there are two in the kitchen, one in the computer room , one in the bathroom…
kitchen – design and decorating? Quilts, plants and antiques.
love – what is your favorite part of homemaking? Enjoying the results.
mop – y/n? Yes, I love the new swiffer wet mop. It smells so good.
nylons – wash them by hand or in the washer? I usually get a run before they need to be washed; so no need to wash!
oven – do you use the window or open it to check? My oven has no window so I open it.
pizza –
what do you put on yours? Veggies are my favorites; peppers, mushrooms, black olives and onions.
quiet – what do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Read blogs!
recipe card box – I don’t have a box, but I print my recipes out and keep them in a notebook.
style of house –
Blase’ brick.
tablecloths and napkins – y/n? Oh, I used to do that, before the kids came along. Maybe again someday… maybe even flowers…
under the kitchen sink –
water bottles, trash bags
vacuum – how many times a week? once a week.
wash – how many loads do you do a week? 7-8.
x’es – do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? Absolutely!! I enjoy crossing things off my list so much that if I finish something that wasn’t on the list I will write it on the list just so that I can cross it off!
yard – who does what? the hard stuff- my teenage boys. the fun, easy stuff- me. 🙂

zzz’s – what is your last homemaking task for the day? Make sure all the kids brushed their teeth.

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WIP Wednesday

April 4, 2007

The 12x12x12 journal page project has been an interesting one to watch. There have been so many lovely pages and, of course, they are all different. I’m enjoying seeing all of them.

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And, of course, I am enjoying it when I have time to work on one myself! I plan to finish this one for April. I did a pencil sketch of it in February and this EQ sketch just this week. I haven’t decided on the colors yet. Since it is spring I am leaning toward greens and yellows.

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So what is it that drives a quilter to start another project when she already has too much going on to begin with? I’ve been thinking about starting another quilt after seeing this one on line at the Buggy Barn Quilt Shop. It comes from their book called Gone Crazy and is called Barn Raising. I’m thinking of making from my stash in blues and creams.

And where am I going to find the time for this? I don’t have a clue. I’ll worry about that tomorrow!