Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A little embroidery, a little sewing

Remember those fingertip towels I bought at the quilt festival? I was inspired by this one that All About Blanks had made up.


I had bought this Laurel Burch Christmas fabric thinking that I would use it in a table runner of some sort, maybe like the Susan Branch one I made for my friend Nancy's birthday last year.


But the towel idea seemed so much simpler, so I hooked up the embroidery module and started it up.


I made these two for my mom...


And while I was at it I made these two as well. I am giving them as Thanksgiving presents...if I wait till Christmas to give them away, it will be too late to use them!


Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have been fascinated by the concept of eating locally ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Obviously, living in city, we are not able to raise our own food. Heck, I can't even grow tomatoes successfully! We shop a lot at Whole Foods and at the Bayou City Farmers' Market when we can. After reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I really started thinking twice about buying red meat. We don't eat much beef or pork, usually only a couple times a week, but after reading about CAFOs, I didn't want to eat any at all. Free range chickens are fairly easy to come by, and we do eat a lot of fish (the local version being gulf shrimp), but getting grass fed pastured beef and pork is a challenge. There are a few vendors at the farmers' market, but not a huge selection. And there is open season on wild pigs in Texas, but I don't think that I am ready to take up hunting quite yet. After a little web searching, I found Jolie Vue Farms and discovered that they have a monthly home delivery program, (and you all know how much I love having things delivered :-) We signed up for it, and look who came today.


Our monthly supply of meat arrived in this cooler...


Purrkins was interested to see if they included any kitty treats...


This is what was in our initial delivery:
Boneless pork chop 8 oz.
Pork porterhouse 14 oz.
Beef sirloin tip roast 2 #
Pork spare ribs 2#
Bacon 8 oz.
Ground pork 1#
Pork cutlets 1#
Ground beef 3#
Pork shoulder roast 2½ #
Whole chicken 3#
Italian sausage ¾ #
Smoked ham hocks 1#

A lot more pork than we normally eat, but it will be interesting to decide what to do with it all.


And they also included this cookbook, with recipes and tips on cooking grass fed meat.


I am excited to be able to make this change in our lifestyle...eating healthier food, supporting the people who produce it and reducing our carbon footprint in the process.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This and that

Here is mystery block #3...like I said, not fabrics I would have ever chosen. I guess they go with the others. It will be interesting to see what future months bring, and how they will all be tied together.

Mystery BOM #3

I FINALLY finished this scarf. I don't know why, but I just can't bring myself to knit in the summer, even with the A/C on. Now that it has cooled off a bit, I managed to get it done. I may get to wear it next month when I go up to MSP to visit my daughter, and then will just give it to her.

Soy yarn scarf

Mike bought me a new amaryllis bulb (and even planted it for me :-) It is called Red Lion and will be a solid red, unlike last year's. We still need to get some paperwhites.

This has already shot up several more inches.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bucky sighting

A week ago today we were in Milwaukee, having a wine flight at a new wine bar, Thief Wine, in the Milwaukee Public Market. We were pleased to find this place in a city more well known for its corner taverns.


Mike had Regions on the Rise


And I had Chardonnay Three Ways


When we left realized that if we had gone into the bar across the street we probably could have seen the Wisconsin-Indiana game. Just a hunch...


Amazing how a large inflatable animal can look so mean!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall color

We were in Milwaukee last weekend for the dedication of the new Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital, where Mike worked when he was at MCW. He was pleased to be invited to speak at the 32nd Annual Juan del Regato Gold Medal Lecture & Symposium. I was thrilled to be back in the midwest in time to see some fall color.

I received the latest fabrics for my mystery block of the month from Cabbage Rose Quilting. I must say, I like the colors better than the last two, but can't imagine how they will all look together.
I made this from the Hopscotch pattern from Beach Garden Quilts, and it has been sent off to the quilter (but with no guarantee that it will be done by Christmas). Just keeping my fingers crossed.

Speaking of the Christmas season, has any one else noticed that it keeps getting earlier every year? I was at the Galleria today, and there were kids getting their pictures taken with Santa Claus! I didn't think he showed up till after Thanksgiving...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quilt show goodies

As promised, here are some things I bought at the Quilt Festival. Actually, I didn't buy all of them there, some I had already and just bought coordinating charm packs, backing etc. These I bought at the Cabbage Rose Quilting booth. I love their shop in Fort Worth.

I hadn't seen this before, but fell in love with it.

This pillowcase kit uses the new ME line, Recipe for Friendship.

And Merry and Bright by Sandy Gervais uses the same colors as her Christmas fabric from last year. I love the kind of late 50s-early 60s retro feel they have.

And I bought this cute pattern, which uses one charm pack and one jelly roll, from the really nice ladies at Beach Garden Quilts. I am using the Isn't Christmas Jolly fabric to make it (which is what they have used in this picture, but I am using the black fabrics for the sashing and borders, so it will look considerably different).

These I bought from All About Blanks, one of my favorite booths at the Quilt Festival. (It's where I bought the shirts that I embroidered for my mom). I will use the lavender in some little organdy bags for sachets.

And I thought I would use the fingertip towels to make something like this, using Laurel Burch fabric and the LB embroidery card I recently purchased.

These are reproduction Texas state handkerchiefs from Tea Time Quilting, a local shop I've not been to yet.

And the freebie pattern for making them into a quilt...

Yes, I know, lots of ambitions...now I need to start spending more time at the sewing machine than at the computer!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

At least I live in a blue county

I remember looking at this map in 2004 and the only blue in Texas other than "the (Rio Grande) valley" was Travis County where Austin is located. I'm told that this is the first time Harris County has gone to the Democratic presidential candidate since LBJ (that was 1964, for those of you who are too young to remember). I see that Dallas County is blue, too. Hope springs eternal! I am also especially happy to see that Florida and Ohio went for Obama....little consolation for the debacles there in 2000 and 2004, but a moral victory knowing that all the votes were counted this time around.

precinct map

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not!

Actually, I have been having fun, at least for the most part, aside from a couple of days from hell at work. But I won't bore you with the details of how I love what I do but hate my job because of the lack of effective management. I can't believe we are into November already. I guess I lived in Wisconsin so long that I need the seasonal weather cues. Somehow 80ยบ just doesn't say fall to me.

I had a great time at the International Quilt Festival. A few friends came into town to join me. Here is my friend Nancy with the Charm Party Tote she made using the new Mary Engelbreit Recipe for Friendship fabric from Moda. It really turned out cute!

After that I was really itching to sew. I did buy a few things at the show, which I'll show you later. What I decided to sew was the Cabbage Rose Quilting Kaffe Fassett & Friends Mystery BOM block kits I had. I hadn't really looked at them and was kind of put off by the fabrics...not anything I would have ever chosen (orange and purple?)

These remind me of some old slipcovers my grandmother had, and not in a good way.

But I decide to go ahead with them anyway since I have made the investment. It will be interesting to see what future months hold. Purrkins seemed to like the choices and decided that he needed to "help" me.

And he definitely approved of the finished blocks...