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?